More media tapes revealed: Erdoğan asks media proprietor to air his aide to defend gov’t line, tape reveals

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is heard telling Ferit Şahenk, who owns mainstream NTV network, to air his controversial adviser responsible for economy, new voice recording reveals.
The tape, posted on YouTube on Monday evening, shows Erdoğan asking Şahenk to make Bulut speak in a program and provide the government narrative on a recent corruption scandal. Bulut is appointed as Erdoğan’s aide last summer after his vociferous defense of Erdoğan during summer protests, including a claim that his “enemies want to kill him through telekinesis.”

Erdoğan and senior government officials claimed that the corruption investigation is a “coup against the elected government” with “global links” and have purged thousands of members of the police and judiciary in a bid to contain the graft scandal.

The raid to dozens of homes and offices was launched on Dec. 17 last year, months after Iran and world powers inked a deal that allowed Tehran to benefit from relieved US-led sanctions. Some of the suspects of the corruption investigation, including Halkbank chief Süleyman Aslan and Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, are accused of being involved in illegal money transfers to bypass US sanctions. Washington weighed options to sanction state bank Halkbank as a major financial institution that played role in breaching the sanctions.

Erdoğan recalled this sanctions, which, according to him, were brought to the agenda in April last year, and told Şahenk in the voice recording that his adviser Bulut could explain all these during a program on NTV.

Erdoğan also complained that employees of NTV are showing “passive resistance” to the government pressure.

Şahenk tells Erdoğan that he can talk to his chief adviser Yalçın Akdoğan about arranging the program.



About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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