Turkish gov't, main opposition in fresh row over Kılıçdaroğlu's wiretapping claims

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has refuted CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's claims that his phone is wiretapped. According to Soylu, Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks are aimed at changing the political agenda. The CHP responded to the minister by saying that he should abandon "these cheap statements."

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Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has sharply refuted main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıdçaroğlu's claims that his and his family's phones are wiretapped.

In a written statement released on Twitter, Soylu said that Kılıçdaroğlu aims to change the political agenda and that he should speak to the chief public prosecutor's offices rather than the media if he has such doubts.

"Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks, which were made with the aim to change the political agenda and which are not true, are slanders against our state and our struggle that we put forward with our security forces," Soylu said, adding that intelligence units are inspected four times every year by four different entities.

"We are ready for all the steps that need to be taken following Kılıçdaroğlu's criminal complaint," he also said.

Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 4 said that he knows “he is being followed and his family members' telephones are wiretapped.”

“The places I go to are known. The house I stay at is known. The places I visit are known. The people I talk to are known. In any case, I know that my, my wife's and my children's telephones are wiretapped. And I am very well aware that I am being followed. My security guards are doing their best [to protect me],” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Recently, pro-government journalist Fuat Uğur made claims of an imminent assassination attempt against Kılıçdaroğlu. The main opposition leader was also threatened by notorious mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı last month.

Soylu on Dec. 5 also said that the government condemns Kılıçdaroğlu's "make-believe" statements that aim to "harm the reputation of our intelligence units."

The CHP responded to Soylu's statement on Dec. 6, with CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak saying that the minister didn't even know that his phone was wiretapped in 2018.

"It's impossible to understand what the interior minister, who was not aware of his phone being wiretapped, is saying. They should abandon these cheap statements," Öztrak said.

Also on Dec. 6, Soylu slammed a journalist for penning a column titled "No one would believe that Kılıçdaroğlu isn't wiretapped."

Soylu responded to Kübra Par's tweet that included the column, saying that "he feels sorry for her."

Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, meanwhile, said that he agrees with Kılıçdaroğlu in that the opposition's phones are wiretapped.

"However, we are not bothered by that since we have nothing to hide. They can listen to us as much as they like, it's not a problem for us," he said.