A row over an alleged WikiLeaks cable from 2003 has heated up between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, as the premier filed a lawsuit against his rival on charges of libel Sept. 28.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan of treason on Sept. 27 over an alleged WikiLeaks cable dating back to June 6, 2003.
Referring to a book titled “Leakage: Prominent Turks in the WikiLeaks cables” by journalists Barış Terkoğlu and Barış Pehlivan, Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan had promised to open Turkish air space and two seaports to the U.S. in 2003, but that this had been opposed by a number of high-ranking generals, most of whom were tried in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case.
“A prime minister who protects a foreign country’s benefits instead of his own country’s [interests] cannot be the prime minister of Turkey. A man who does not protect his own country and its interests is called a traitor,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
However, when assessed, the cable dated June 6, 2003 published by WikiLeaks does not contain Kılıçdaroğlu’s allegations. Yet, the published record is a partial extract of the original cable, WikiLeaks noted. “The full text of the original cable is not available,” it said on top of the cable.
One of the authors of the book Kılıçdaroğlu referred to, Pehlivan told reporters that they quoted a report on the alleged cable by daily Aydınlık.
Kılıçdaroğlu said they would settle scores with Erdoğan in court. “When I told Erdoğan ‘You’re marketing Turkey,’ he did not file a lawsuit. I’m waiting, we will settle scores when he sues,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday ahead of his party’s “Joint Working Meeting,” which took place before Erdoğan’s lawyers filed the lawsuit.
(Hürriyet Daily News)