A proposal by a number of CTP deputies to launch a parliamentary investigation into Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun was rejected.
Presenting the arguments in favour, CTP leader Tufan Erhurman said that according to the articles of the Criminal Code, it was necessary to protect public interest against the crime of negligence, and it is his duty and obligation to take remedial action by reminding the prime minister of his duties and responsibilities.
Erhurman stated that while the UBP-DP government was in power, it was decided to extend the contract to develop Ercan airport for four years as proposed by Transport Minister Kemal Durust and that the content of the signed additional contract and guarding against any possibilities of public loss are essential. Erhurman argued that it was understood from what Durust had said that there was no examination and evaluation of the contract to ensure against any damage to the public interest.
The CTP leader said that the company in charge of renovating the airport had gone to court for compensation, claiming that it had lost money. The government had not provided the required oversight, nor taken any necessary action and therefore the public interest was damaged.
Erhurman mentioned a statement made by Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu which was that that the contractor should should manage the project. But, the Council of Ministers did not share Ertugruloglu’s opinion on the matter.
Erhurman stated that Durust had offered no defence in court, that he accepted the compensation claim as is, he did not negotiate the amount. This means he neglected his duty, and the amount claimed by the plaintiff was the maximum amount the court can award in such cases.
The Transport Minister did not calculate the compensation amount for the next 25 years, and that the income is bigger for the years after the 25th year than the first years. Erhurman said, “The state was damaged four out of four.”
Erhurman went on to say that the Prime Minister did not take corrective measures in the Council of Ministers in this regard and argued that the Prime Minister caused a public loss by neglecting his duties.
“THe additional contract for the extension of the contract for four years was published in the Official Gazette on May 2nd, 2017. On May 5th, Ertugruloglu sent a letter to the Prime Minister,” he said, reading the letter and saying that the foreign minister had asked the Prime Minister to make seven changes to the proposal.
The CTP leader said that despite Ertugruloglu’s disapproval, the decision was taken by the Council of Ministers and he said that the Assembly should form an Investigation Committee on this issue. Erhurman argued that if this is not done, they will be asking the police to get involved, and that the seriousness of the incident must be realised.
Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun responded by saying that Erhurman had acted as if he is in court and that this is the Parliament.
Ozgurugun stated that he did not feel uncomfortable with the criticisms made, criticism showed the quality of the critic, and that only the public could be the judge.
“We will only answer to people”, he said and added that the election is approaching, and Erhurman is free to make his claims in public, and that the most important judicial organ is the people.
The prime minister said he wanted to address the accusation made against him in public. The main opposition wanted an investigation just before the election.
“I have nothing to hide. Let’s ask the people as they are the only judge for a politician. Don’t be afraid of people.”
The prime minister said that he was familiar with the CTP’s cold war tactics. Erhurman’s star is declining in politics, and politics could only be done at at grass roots level. It is essential to have the people’s approval, he said.
Ozgurgun said that this was the first time he had witnessed such an approach taken by Erhurman in Parliament and he felt like he was in a courtroom.
The prime minister also said, “We are taking decisions at the Council of Ministers with unanimity. During the important decisions and legal issues, the Chief Prosecutor is presented. We take the Chief Prosecutor’s opinions on the matter. We are getting opinions from the Court of Accounts on financial matters.” He also added that the Chief Prosecutor had shared his opinions on the aforementioned decision.
Ozgurgun stated that it is permissible to apply to the judiciary for a ruling, adding that he did not object to it, and that he could go to the judiciary regarding the allegations that the date and year were not specified.
After the speeches, the proposal for opening an investigation was rejected by 20 in favour and 27 votes against.