Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has once again targeted a journalist over a report revealing nepotism within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.
Soylu slammed journalist Saygı Öztürk on Twitter, calling him and his report “an enemy of honor.”
“I’m doing my duty as a human,” Soylu said on June 18 with a link of the report in daily Sözcü.
Öztürk reported how a man rose to a high-level position after marrying now-deputy Bahar Ayvazoğlu.
According to Öztürk, Ali Ayvazoğlu began working at a low-level position at a company under the Trabzon Municipality. He was also working as a guard at the time.
Bahar Ayvazoğlu was employed as a secretary in a district AKP branch at the time.
Ali Ayvazoğlu began visiting the branch frequently and married Bahar Ayvazoğlu after divorcing his wife. Bahar Ayvazoğlu was appointed AKP provincial women’s branch head shortly after.
In 2014, Ortahisar Municipality was formed in the province and Ahmet Metin Genç from the AKP was elected mayor. Even though he already had an assistant, he employed Ali Ayvazoğlu for the position.
Strikingly, İsmail Kansız, who had been Trabzon’s Culture and Tourism Provincial Directorate head for 20 years, was removed from his duty to be replaced by Ayvazoğlu.
In 2015, Bahar Ayvazoğlu was elected deputy and moved to the capital Ankara. To prevent herself from being apart from her husband, Ali Ayvazoğlu was appointed to Ankara Culture and Tourism Provincial Directorate.
According to Öztürk, Ali Ayvazoğlu won’t be on the said position for long and will be appointed to a higher position.
Minister Soylu, who on May 18 targeted journalist Müyesser Yıldız – who was arrested a short while later – on Twitter, praised the Ayvazoğlu couple, while saying that he will deem anyone addressing Öztürk “a partner in being an enemy of honor and dignity killer.”
Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) slammed Soylu’s remarks, calling on him to “know his place.”
“You can’t insult a journalist just because you don’t like the report Mr. Soylu. Know your place,” the union said on Twitter.