A lawmaker from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has submitted a parliamentary question asking the whereabouts of two golden vases from the Ottoman era that had been on display at a palace in İstanbul, Turkish media reported on Thursday.
CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal requested that Vice President Fuat Oktay and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy to respond his inquiry.
Noting that people were concerned at not seeing the two vases, each weighing 46 kilograms, in their usual exhibit areas at Dolmabahçe Palace, Tanal asked where the vases, dating back to the time of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid, were and if they had been stolen.
Tanal’s question was answered not by its intended recipients but by the Presidency’s National Palaces Administration, which runs Dolmabahçe Palace, labeling it “unfounded and deliberate, and with a motive to deceive the public.”
“Contrary to the claims, ‘two vases made of solid gold, each weighing 46 kilograms’, have never been part of the inventory of the National Palaces, containing more than 300 movable historical artifacts. Naturally, these nonexistent artifacts have never been put on display or exhibition, unlike what Tanal claimed,” the administration said in its statement.
The administration added that they had filed an official complaint against Tanal for his “deceptive” remarks.
Soon after this statement, Tanal posted photos on Twitter showing the vases, which are “nonexistent according the administration,” repeating his question, “Where are these artifacts?”
Sn. Milli Saraylar yetkilileri, kimseye iftira attığımız yok.
Denetim yetkimizi kullandık, önerge verdik.
İsme takılmadan, 15 Temmuz'da şehit edilen Mustafa Cambaz'ın fotoğrafladığı bu tarihi eserler şu an nerededir?
Soru gayet açık ve basit. @millisaraylar
(Altın Vazo) pic.twitter.com/4CNA9TgGaz
— Av.Mahmut TANAL (@MTanal) June 16, 2021
“Dear officials from the National Palaces Administration, we are not bad-mouthing anyone. We were just exercising our auditing mandate. Ignore the name, but where are these historical artifacts, photographed by Mustafa Cambaz, who was martyred during the failed coup of July 15. The question is clear and simple. @millisaraylar (Golden Vase) pic.twitter.com/4CNA9TgGaz” Tanal tweeted.
Cambaz was a journalist from the Yeni Şafak daily who was killed in İstanbul on the night of a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.