Coup suspect Şener 'fabricated news stories' for CHP leader

In response to the news report regarding his orders to Şener, the CHP leader said the conversations between him and the journalist were “normal.”

Coup suspect Şener 'fabricated news stories' for CHP leader

Evidence contained in an indictment in the case against Odatv suggests that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu ordered jailed Ergenekon suspect and journalist Nedim Şener to fabricate stories for him to use, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

In the records of phone conversations included in the Odatv case, Şener talks to Kılıçdaroğlu and CHP Deputy Chairman Gürsel Tekin. He calls the CHP leader, who was the CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman at the time, "üstad" (master) and then-CHP İstanbul provincial chief Tekin "şef" (chief).

Şener was imprisoned six months ago as part of the ongoing odatv trial, a news website whose operators were accused of aiding and abetting the terrorist Ergenekon organization.

The conversations took place in July and August 2009, nearly four months after Kılıçdaroğlu lost the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayoral elections. The recorded calls reveal that Kılıçdaroğlu encourages Şener to write negative news stories about the municipality's İstanbul Transportation Authority (İETT), asking him to report on an incident in the Eyüp district. Explaining that a couple was warned for sitting next to each other at an Eyüp restaurant, Kılıçdaroğlu asks Şener to send a male and a female reporter to a restaurant in Eyüp in order to see if they provoke a reaction by sitting next to each other at the same restaurant. Upon hearing Kılıçdaroğlu's request, Şener asks him if he has the names of the couple that was treated badly in the restaurant. Kılıçdaroğlu responds in the affirmative, and the conversation ends after Şener says he will "deal with it."

He also orders Şener to interview İETT General Manager Mehmet Öztürk, who was removed from office for being involved in irregularities in the purchase of İETT buses in 2009. Kılıçdaroğlu asks Şener to question Öztürk as to why he opposed to the launch of Metrobuses, and the journalist acknowledges his request, saying: "I will see him in private. All right, üstad."

In another phone conversation Kılıçdaroğlu asks Şener if his odatv can fabricate a news story about then-Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, putting him in a difficult position.

Tekin also requests Şener to manufacture a story about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to the records.

Kılıçdaroğlu: The conversations are normal

In response to the news report regarding his orders to Şener, the CHP leader said the conversations between him and the journalist were "normal." Speaking to reporters at Ankara Esenboğa Airport on Tuesday, he said the conversations represent a dialogue between a deputy who struggles against corruption and a journalist who pursues stories of corruption. "It is actually the duty of a journalist," he said. In response to a reporter's question over Kılıçdaroğlu's request to send a male and a female reporter to see the reaction of the people in Eyüp, he said people must focus on what the incident was about, not on the conversation.

Meanwhile, a letter received by the İstanbul Police Department on May 6, 2009 that was allegedly sent by a patriotic military officer was released last week. It also contained information about Şener. The letter claimed that Ergenekon was planning to carry out an assassination of a high-profile figure, whose name was not mentioned, such as Hrant Dink, a murdered Armenian-Turkish journalist and editor of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian Agos. Following the assassination members of Ergenekon who held key positions in the government and the police department would then dismiss every official supporting the trial against Ergenekon. Şener's responsibility, according the letter, was to organize attacks against these officials in the media.

Cihan

Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2011, 17:56
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