Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı claimed that the recent local elections were influenced by CIA and Mossad, while speaking on a local television channel.
Çamlı also said that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu would not get 25 percent if an election was to be held on Sunday. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Imamoğlu, won this year’s March local elections, which were cancelled by the the country’s supreme election board, setting the stage for another election in June, which he won by a much larger margin, in what was seen as a huge loss and major embarrassment for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP.
In 2017, local news outlets reported that Çamlı was behind a fake account named Yeliz Adeley, a woman’s name. The account was being used to livestream parliamentary discussions. In the recent interview, Çamlı denied that he was the one using the account.
“Absolutely not, I have my own account, why would I use a fake one? In any case, those images are seen in another video, the account is not mine and that it has nothing to do with me is very clear,” Çamlı said. Çamlı also denied claims that he would be chosen as a minister in the next cabinet, saying that was not true and that he was elected as a parliamentarian.
Commenting on the resignation of AKP Deputy Mustafa Yeneroğlu, known for his recent and vocal criticism of his own party, Çamlı expressed his sadness at Yeneroğlu’s departure:
“Mustafa is my brother. He’s a brother of mine with the same spirit. But I’m very sad on his behalf. They were wrong, they went down the wrong path and they can’t fathom this,” Çamlı said.
When asked if he loved Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, Çamlı said he respected him but wasn’t forced to love anyone:
“If we see things that we think were wrong, we need to point this out. I thought the alphabet reform was wrong. It was a disastrous mistake,” Çamlı said, referring to reforms carried out by Atatürk that switched the Arabic script-based Ottoman Turkish for the Latin alphabet.
Though this led to a quick surge in very low literacy rates that were present in the Ottoman empire, the reforms were also recently criticized by Erdoğan, who controversially claimed earlier this month that this was not the Ottoman’s fault and that the alphabet reform actually lowered literary rates.