Online Sex Videos Force Resignations of Six Members of Turkish Opposition Party

Just weeks before general elections in Turkey, six leading members of an opposition party were forced to resign from Parliament on Saturday after sexually explicit videos of one of them were posted on the Internet.

The Web site that posted the videos had threatened to release others that it said showed the five other members who resigned.

The resignations could severely weaken the Nationalist Movement Party, the second largest opposition group in Parliament, which is struggling to win the minimum of 10 percent of the vote required to be seated in Parliament.

Four members of Parliament from the same party resigned earlier this month after similar videos were posted on the same Web site.

The Web site,, has cast itself as part of a breakaway ultranationalist group aiming to cleanse and reform the nationalist movement in Turkey. The site’s administrators are anonymous.

The Public Communication Agency, which monitors Internet traffic in Turkey, blocked access to the Web site shortly after the videos were uploaded, presumably because of their explicit content.

Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, denounced the videos as blackmail. “It is not correct to mess with these people’s personalities,” he said.

He said the Web site had demanded his resignation by last Wednesday if he wanted the videos to remain secret. He had earlier vowed not to yield to such threats.

Representatives of his party, noting that if they lose representation in Parliament the governing Justice and Development Party would be likely to gain, have accused the government of failing to properly investigate the videos and the Web site.

Lawyers for the Nationalist Movement filed a claim with a court in Ankara, the capital, on Wednesday demanding an investigation. The filing, citing calls made on a cellphone linked to the Web site, said that the video scandal was organized in the United States. Party leaders have previously accused a Turkish-American religious group, Fethullah Gulen, of working with the governing party to drive the Nationalist Movement from politics.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has campaigned strongly against the Nationalists, rebuffed those claims in a television show last week, saying that the Nationalist Movement was trying to blame the government for its internal problems.

The Nationalist Movement Party held 72 seats in the 540-member Parliament before the resignations on Saturday, and polls before the resignations showed it winning about 12 percent of the vote in the election next month. The governing Justice and Development Party is expected to win a third term as the majority government.

Political analysts, pointing to the timing of the release of videos that were evidently collected over a long period, expressed concern about the unethical tactics used to attack the Nationalists. “With these large number of resignations, we have an unprecedented scene here in the world of politics,” said Fatih Cekirge, a political analyst speaking on NTV, who called the blackmailing “political genocide.” Soruce: Sebnem Arsu, New York Times
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07