Turkey’s opposition party says Erdogan voice tapes not fake

Turkey’s main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that he is in possession of an independent report on the damning leaked phones calls between PM Erdoğan and his son Bilal, which he will present in court soon. At the time Erdoğan denied their authenticity, dismissing the conversations as “montages”

The report, which was recently issued by a UK-based audio forensic company, suggests phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son, Bilal Erdoğan, do not indicate any tampering, Turkish daily ‘Zaman’ reports.

The CHP leader, while speaking to the ‘Cumhuriyet’ daily on Monday, recalled that Prime Minister Erdoğan had sued him for playing the phone conversations during his party’s meeting in Parliament in March. The prime minister, who claims that his privacy was violated, is demanding TL 100,000 from Kılıçdaroğlu in damages. Kılıçdaroğlu, in response, said he will present the new tape analysis to a court in the near future, so that Turkish citizens can learn the truth about the prime minister’s phone conversations.

The audio forensic company examined the phone conversations allegedly between the prime minister and his son Bilal in March upon the request of the Demokrasi Denetçileri Derneği (Democracy Auditors’ Association). The company issued a report on its findings on 27th March. In the report, obtained by ‘Zaman’, the company stated that all tracks were inspected and listened to for sound quality before performing any analysis procedures. “The actual individual voice recordings, or audio tracks, of the speakers themselves indicate no signs of tampering or rearrangement,” the company said.

The audio forensic company also noted that the overall recording presentation on a production level indicates that the individual tracks had been arranged in sequence for possible presentation purposes.

The voice recordings allegedly belonging to Erdoğan and his son were leaked on the Internet on the evening of 24th Feb. In the recorded phone conversations, Erdoğan is heard instructing his son, Bilal, to dispose of vast amounts of cash on 17th Dec., 2013, amid an ongoing corruption operation. The conversations came at a time when police raided a number of locations as part of the operation that implicated the sons of three former ministers as well as business executives and the chief of a state-run bank. In one of the recordings, Erdoğan asked his son Bilal to “zero” the money in their house.

The release of the recorded conversation created uproar throughout the country, with opposition parties calling on the government to resign.

Erdoğan rejected claims that the recordings are genuine in a written statement and later at public rallies, claiming that they had been “dubbed” and edited. In the speeches, however, he acknowledged that his encrypted phones had been tapped, which could indicate that the conversations actually occurred.

Kılıçdaroğlu also told ‘Cumhuriyet’ that he was not convinced by a report by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), which stated that the voice recordings between Erdoğan and his son were dubbed.

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