Turkish website threatens to post more sex tapes

By Suzan Fraser

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 18 2011 8:10 a.m. MDT

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish website that posted compromising videos which forced four far-right politicians to resign threatened Wednesday to post new sex videos that could hurt more opposition politicians ahead of next month's election.

A group calling themselves "Different Nationalists" claimed they have videos of six other senior Nationalist Action Party members, and urged the party's leader, Devlet Bahceli, to step down before the June 12 general election.

Bahceli retorted that his party would "not bow to threats and blackmails" and said no other party official would resign over any new Internet videos. Four senior party members already resigned earlier this month when the secretly filmed videos showed them having extramarital affairs.

Bahceli has accused supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being behind the videos to deliberately hurt the far-right party, which appeals to nationalist and religious voters. Erdogan's party has denied the allegation.

The scandal could have far-reaching implications for Turkish democracy if the nationalist party fails to make it into parliament in elections.

Erdogan on Wednesday strongly rejected allegations that his party was behind the scandal, assuring that authorities were trying to prevent the dissemination of the videos on the Internet.

Opinion surveys show the far-right party hovering close to a 10 percent support threshold that is designed to keep smaller parties out of Turkey's parliament. If it fails to pass the 10 percent barrier, its votes would be redistributed among parties represented in parliament, handing even more power to Erdogan's ruling party, which has been accused of authoritarianism.

The ruling party appears to be easily heading toward a third term in office, but it is aiming for an overwhelming majority that would allow it to rewrite Turkey's constitution.

There was no information about the new website and prosecutors have launched an investigation into it. The previous videos from hidden cameras showed two far-right politicians in intimate conversations with two women at an apartment. Another showed a senior party official in bed with a woman, who is heard complaining that he had taken back a car that he had given her as a present.

Last year, Deniz Baykal, the longtime leader of Turkey's secular main opposition party, stepped down as chairman after a secretly taped video allegedly showed he was having an affair. Baykal claimed he was a victim of a political plot by the government. Prosecutors launched an investigation but have not found the perpetrator.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS