The Workers Party of Turkey (TİP) has announced that it will file a criminal complaint against a journalist who claimed the party received a TL 30 million ($1.1 million) donation from the country’s main opposition party ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections in May, the Birgün daily reported.
The claim was recently made by journalist Bahar Feyzan in an article on her personal website based on the remarks of a CHP politician who requested anonymity.
Bahar Feyzan adlı kişinin, partimizin seçim döneminde CHP’den 30 milyon TL aldığına dönük iftirası hakkında parti avukatlarımız suç duyurusunda bulunacak ve hem kendisine hem de bu iftirayı yayanlara manevi tazminat davası açılacaktır.
TİP’in merkezi seçim bütçesi, düzen… pic.twitter.com/heDsbzdqnz
— Türkiye İşçi Partisi (@tipgenelmerkez) August 13, 2023
The CHP politician told Feyzan that the CHP transferred TL 30 million to TİP before the May elections to help the party become an alternative to the pro-Kurdish Green Left Party (YSP) and marginalize the YSP.
TİP, which refused to run in the elections under a left-wing alliance that also included the YSP, received 1.7 percent of the nationwide vote in the parliamentary elections and won four seats in parliament. The party received criticism for dividing the opposition vote by fielding its own candidates.
In a statement on the party’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, TİP accused Feyzan of libeling the party with her claim about the alleged donation from the CHP.
The party said its lawyers would file a criminal complaint against the journalist in addition to filing a defamation lawsuit. The party has not revealed exactly what offenses the criminal complaint will include.
TİP said its election budget was made up only of the contributions of “laborers.”
In response Feyzan said it is fine with her for the party to exercise its legal rights and that she would be pleased if the party’s bank transactions during the election campaign are made public.
The CHP was part of a six-party opposition alliance in the May elections, which nominated the party’s leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as their joint candidate. Kılıçdaroğlu was defeated by incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a runoff election on May 28.
The YSP endorsed Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy in the presidential election to ensure the defeat of Erdoğan although it was not part of the opposition bloc.