|CHP Leader and Nedim Sener|
Evidence contained in an indictment in the case against Oda TV suggests that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu ordered jailed Ergenekon suspect and journalist Nedim Sener to fabricate stories for him to use, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.
In the records of phone conversations included in the Oda TV case, Sener talks to Kılıcdaroglu and CHP Deputy Chairman Gursel Tekin. He calls the CHP leader, who was the CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman at the time, "üstad" (master) and then-CHP İstanbul provincial chief Tekin "şef" (chief).
Sener was imprisoned six months ago as part of the ongoing odatv trial, a news website whose operators were accused of aiding and abetting the terrorist Ergenekon organization.
The conversations took place in July and August 2009, nearly four months after Kılıcdaroglu lost the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayoral elections. The recorded calls reveal that Kılıcdaroglu encourages Sener to write negative news stories about the municipality's İstanbul Transportation Authority (İETT), asking him to report on an incident in the Eyüp district. Explaining that a couple was warned for sitting next to each other at an Eyup restaurant, Kılıcdaroglu asks Sener to send a male and a female reporter to a restaurant in Eyüp in order to see if they provoke a reaction by sitting next to each other at the same restaurant. Upon hearing Kılıcdaroglu's request, Şener asks him if he has the names of the couple that was treated badly in the restaurant. Kılıcdaroglu responds in the affirmative, and the conversation ends after Sener says he will "deal with it."
He also orders Sener to interview IETT General Manager Mehmet Ozturk, who was removed from office for being involved in irregularities in the purchase of IETT buses in 2009. Kılıcdaroglu asks Sener to question Ozturk as to why he opposed to the launch of Metrobuses, and the journalist acknowledges his request, saying: "I will see him in private. All right, üstad."
In another phone conversation Kılıcdaroglu asks Sener if his odatv can fabricate a news story about then-Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, putting him in a difficult position.
Tekin also requests Sener to manufacture a story about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the records.
Kılıcdaroglu: The conversations are normal
In response to the news report regarding his orders to Sener, the CHP leader said the conversations between him and the journalist were "normal." Speaking to reporters at Ankara Esenboga Airport on Tuesday, he said the conversations represent a dialogue between a deputy who struggles against corruption and a journalist who pursues stories of corruption. "It is actually the duty of a journalist," he said. In response to a reporter's question over Kılıcdaroglu's request to send a male and a female reporter to see the reaction of the people in Eyup, he said people must focus on what the incident was about, not on the conversation.
Meanwhile, a letter received by the Istanbul Police Department on May 6, 2009 that was allegedly sent by a patriotic military officer was released last week. It also contained information about Şener. The letter claimed that Ergenekon was planning to carry out an assassination of a high-profile figure, whose name was not mentioned, such as Hrant Dink, a murdered Armenian-Turkish journalist and editor of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian Agos. Following the assassination members of Ergenekon who held key positions in the government and the police department would then dismiss every official supporting the trial against Ergenekon. Sener's responsibility, according the letter, was to organize attacks against these officials in the media.
Source: Cihan News Agency