A staff member working at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters was detained on March 26 after footage of him using cocaine prompted outrage on social media.
Various reports initially said that Kürşat Ayvatoğlu was an adviser to AKP Vice Chair Hamza Dağ, but Dağ later refuted these claims.
AKP Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Hamza Dağ'ın özel kalemi Kürşat Ayvatoğlu'nun görüntüleri sosyal medyanın gündemine oturdu. pic.twitter.com/k3jBDKrIIS— 🎙Muhbir (@AjansMuhbir) March 25, 2021
Dağ said that Ayvatoğlu is "neither his adviser nor executive assistant. "The employment contract of the person in question who has been working as bureau personnel at the headquarters for approximately one year, has been terminated," Dağ said in a tweet on March 26.
Sosyal medyada görüntüleri yayınlanan Kürşat Ayvatoğlu danışmanım veya özel kalem müdürüm değildir.— HAMZA DAĞ (@avhamzadag) March 26, 2021
Yaklaşık 1 yıldır genel merkez büro personeli olarak çalışan kişinin dün akşam iş akdi fesh edilmiştir. Şahıs hakkında gözaltı işlemi yapılmıştır.
Yasal sürecin takipçisi olacağız
Earlier, Dağ's adviser Muhammed Doğan also said that the only advisers on record for the vice chair were Muhammet Doğan, Abdürrahim Atasever and Murat Kaygusuz.
However, Ayvatoğlu is seen standing close to Dağ during a March 25 handover ceremony in the AKP headquarters. Reports said that Ayvatoğlu had shown Dağ where he should sit when he came to the meeting room and kept an eye on him the whole time.
Additionally, images of Ayvatoğlu posing with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have surfaced, prompting debate about the government's supposedly strict stance against drugs.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Hasan Baltacı shared photos showing Ayvatoğlu standing next to Erdoğan and Soylu.
"The country is being managed with this head? It is a shame," wrote Baltacı.
“Nereden nereye geldi Türkiye...”— Hasan Baltacı (@hasanbaltacichp) March 25, 2021
Ülke bu kafayla yönetiliyor? Yazık! pic.twitter.com/OUHcGOjowg
Turkish courts often prosecute artists, namely rappers, for "encouraging drug use" in their work, even though one YouTuber who faced charges had created a parody of drug use.