Foreign Ministry denies report of video leak scandal

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denied a report which claimed that two senior Turkish diplomats were demoted due to a video dating back eight years, which shows images of two diplomats in Iraq allegedly speaking against the Turkish government.

Foreign Ministry denies report of video leak scandal

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denied a report which claimed that two senior Turkish diplomats were demoted due to a video dating back eight years, which shows images of two diplomats in Iraq allegedly speaking against the Turkish government.

The report published in the Radikal daily on Tuesday with the headline “Big Brother Scandal” stated that the video of two Turkish diplomats, Turkey's Arbil Consul General Aydın Selcen and Middle East General Director Ethem Tokdemir, was recorded during a dinner to mark the end of Tokdemir's tenure in Baghdad.

According to the report, Selcen was recalled to Ankara instead of being appointed as an ambassador. He was working at the Turkish Embassy in Iraq at the time. The report added that Tokdemir was removed from office and his retirement demanded.

A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the report does not reflect the truth at all.

The statement added that the report was based on one-sided false information.

“The news report, which was written without considering the basic principles of journalism, has put a shadow over the reputation of the media,” said the statement.

The statement went on to say that the assignment of the two diplomats was made in accordance with the normal operation of the ministry.

Radikal's report stated that despite Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioğlu's efforts to appoint Selcen as an ambassador, he was expected to resign on the first day of his duty in Ankara, according to Selcen's colleagues.

The video was sent to the Foreign Ministry with a note saying: “They're drinking alcohol and speaking against the government.”

A senior Turkish diplomat who spoke to Today's Zaman on condition of anonymity said the claims of demotion of the two diplomats in the news report were based on speculative information. “I really found the report very strange,” said the diplomat.

The ministry received an implicit threat that the video would be released on the Internet, but Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reportedly prevented this from happening by taking the “necessary steps," added the report.

The video did not have any copies and was not registered to any other computer than Tokdemir's. It remains unknown how and by whom the video was obtained and sent to Davutoğlu, according to the report.

Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2013, 09:17
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