Monday, May 10, 2010

Bizarre Indeed

From Hurriyet Daily News:
The Republican People’s Party, or CHP, Secretary-General Önder Sav claimed Saturday that Şişli Mayor and Turkey Movement for Change Party, or TDH, leader Mustafa Sarıgül allegedly ordered the assassination of CHP leader Deniz Baykal.

Mustafa Sarıgül reacted fiercely to the claim on Sunday. “Önder Sav should take himself to a psychiatrist,” Sarıgül said in response to media questions.

Repercussions of the secret recording allegedly showing Baykal in a compromising position with a female parliamentary deputy continued to reverberate as the assassination allegations shook the country Saturday.

Sav said Sarıgül, a former CHP member, allegedly agreed to pay a hitman named Mithat Yılmaz $750,000 to shoot Baykal during a visit to Brussels on April 13. Sav said the Istanbul Police Department received a tipoff about the plan on April 15, on which he has based his allegations. Both the Governor's Office in Istanbul and the Police Department confirmed that they received such a tipoff, he said.

The plan, however, was allegedly called off a few hours before it was executed, according to the e-mail informing the Istanbul Police Department of the incident.

Istanbul Gov. Muammer Güler said the Police Department received the e-mail on April 15, two days after the alleged planned assassination, and they took all necessary measures for protection of the party leader. The file was transferred to Şişli Chief Public Prosecutor's Office where the investigation is ongoing, he said, adding that the e-mail involved no signature.

Interior Minister Beşir Atalay said the Istanbul governor made the necessary explanation and there was no new development on the issue.

Speaking to Kanal D on Saturday, Yılmaz said the allegations were untrue and they would file a criminal complaint for Sav.

Sarıgül denied his guilt in the matter, describing the allegations an “ugly slander.”

Responding to questions from the media on Sunday, Sarıgül called on Sav to take himself to a psychiatrist.

“We were expecting such a move from Baykal and his fellows, but not now. We expected such a thing when the TDH grow stronger. They are trying to mire the TDH, but we won’t let them,” Sarıgül said.

UPDATE I (5/12) -- Istanbul police detained Sarigul aide Osman Sevket Arslan yesterday. The man who informed the police of the supposed plot via email was also detained, claiming in interrogation that he had fabricated the entire affair.

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