Prosecutor dismisses complaint against PM and ‘Alo Fatih’

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- A prosecutor has dismissed a complaint filed by the Press Industry Workers’ Union (BasIn II) against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and Fatih Saraç, a former executive board member of the Haberturk network who came under the spotlight when a leaked voice recording indicated that he had been appointed to Haberturk by the prime minister to protect the government’s interests.

In a voice recording leaked on Feb. 7, a voice allegedly belonging to ErdoIan can be heard intervening in the Haberturk TV station’s reporting, ordering Saraç, popularly known as “Alo Fatih” (Hello Fatih) to remove a news ticker quoting a statement made by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.

In the recording, believed to have been made on July 6 of last year, ErdoIan reproaches Saraç for the news ticker at the bottom of the screen quoting Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who was inviting President Abdullah Gul to take responsibility for the Gezi Park events. The news ticker was removed, allegedly after the phone call, which ErdoIan had made from Morocco, where he was visiting that day. Prime Minister ErdoIan later admitted that the phone conversation had taken place. “Yes, I called him. I left a reminder against insults being hurled at a prime minister who was abroad. And they did what they had to do about their news ticker.”

BasIn II, a member of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DISK), had petitioned the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office, accusing ErdoIan and Saraç of “obstructing communication” and “abuse of one’s position.” BasIn II argued that the prime minister had violated Articles 26, 28 and 31 of the Constitution and limited or restricted rights under the Guarantee of the Constitution by using his influence.

The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday said there was not enough evidence to support the accusations, and dismissed the case. BasIn II lawyers appealed the decision with the BakIrköy High Criminal Court, which agreed with the prosecutor’s office on the grounds that a parliamentary majority is needed to open an investigation into a prime minister and that there was no need to investigate Saraç.

(CihanToday’s Zaman)