CHP provincial chair to remain in post after 'disproved' sexual assault allegations

A provincial chair for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) will remain in his post following sexual assault allegations against him after the accusations were proven false, a party official said. The allegations came shortly after a statement from the president about "exposing all of the rapists and thieves" in the opposition party.

Barış Bektaş.

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Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy leader Oğuz Kaan Salıcı has said they will not permanently remove Konya Chair Barış Bektaş following sexual assault allegations against him because the claims were "disproven."

Bektaş was temporarily suspended following pro-government media outlets' reports on Dec. 12 that a party member's daughter had written a letter directly to CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in order to expose Bektaş's assault.

The CHP met with the alleged survivor of the incident and with witnesses in documented meetings, which exonerated the Konya chair, Salıcı said.

"We saw, as the CHP, that nothing close to the allegations took place. So we have decided that there is no need to open a disciplinary investigation into the chairman," Salıcı noted.

The allegations about Bektaş were merely one in a series of accusations against CHP officials mostly broadcast on pro-government media outlets and typically followed by a statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"We are going to expose everyone in the CHP who was involved in sexual assault, rape, theft, all those vile acts," the president said on Dec. 10, two days before the accusations about Bektaş surfaced.