Battle of accusations between CHP, German magazine rages on

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

The war of words between Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the German magazine Focus continues to rage on amid CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's recent controversial interview that pointed to an alleged lack of security for tourists and property in Turkey.

Holding a press conference at party headquarters, CHP deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan claimed that there is an ongoing assault campaign being conducted against Kılıçdaroğlu and the CHP because of the interview.

"As responsible politicians, officials within our party have made revisions to previous statements, making the necessary corrections to certain phrases and publications in line with this," Tezcan said.

However, Focus magazine journalist Frank Nordhausen has denied the CHP's claims for a second time on his official Twitter account, saying that there has not been any request made to retract or revise statements from the CHP.

The magazine also denies CHP's allegations that it misquoted Kılıçdaroğlu as saying that the lives and property of tourists are not safe in Turkey.

"According to the customs of German journalism, the interview was sent to the CHP and officially approved before being printed," Frank Nordhausen said on Aug. 9.

Meanwhile, as accusations between the CHP and Focus magazine continue, Kılıçdaroğlu asserted that he stands behind the remarks he made, telling a journalist, "I have not only told this magazine that people's lives and property are not secure in Turkey. I also said this during a parliamentary session, attended by four chairmen. Do I have to say things I do not believe when it comes to the German media?" he asked.In the interview with Focus magazine published on Aug. 5, answering a question regarding whether the fear among Germans of being placed under arrest while visiting Turkey is a rational one, Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, I confirm that such an atmosphere exists. I have been saying for a long time that there is currently no guarantee of security for anyone, neither for life nor property. …We are living in a time in which there is no rule of law and justice. Turkey has to turn back to democracy in order to regain the trust of the world."

Kılıçdaroğlu's statements have faced severe criticism from the Turkish public on the grounds that the statements tarnish Turkey's image in the world and portray it as an unsafe place to visit.

Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş was one of the figures to slam the CHP leader's remarks.

He criticized the Aug. 5 interview, saying, "It is unfortunate and unfair to define Turkey as an unsafe country. Turkey does not deserve this. It is especially inappropriate to say these words from within Turkey. These remarks need to be revised, they are incorrect and do not reflect the truth."

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also commented on Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks on Aug. 8 in Trabzon.

"He makes statements to a German magazine - shame on him. [He says that] there is no justice or freedom in Turkey. You walked from Ankara to Istanbul, who took security measures for you?" the president said.

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