Columnist claims Erdoğan’s team doctored tapes to defame opposition leaders

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during a meeting titled 'Ordu Gathering' in Ordu, Turkey on April 13, 2017. AFP

A columnist for the Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, claimed on Friday that a team at the presidential palace linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has doctored tapes to defame main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Meral Akşener, a former deputy and candidate for leadership of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and were awaiting orders from him to release the tapes at the correct time.

Aydınlık daily columnist Sabahattin Önkibar claimed on Friday that Erdoğan’s last act against Kılıçdaroğlu and Akşener will be slandering them with doctored videotapes and that his team in the presidential palace had made them ready for release.

Reminding his readers of Erdoğan’s earlier remarks against Kılıçdaroğlu, saying, “You have come [to be the leader of the CHP] with a tape and will leave with a tape,” Önkibar claimed that Erdoğan would reform the CHP after slandering Kılıçdaroğlu with the videotape.

Fake news and doctored tapes [to defame] Meral Akşener and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are ready to publicize. However, they are undecided whether to publish them or not due to the fear of a backlash [among the public],” he said.

Önkibar also said that Erdoğan’s teams are still not sure about a victory in a referendum on April 16 for a constitutional package that will expand his powers and switch Turkey into an executive presidency.

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