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After Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım and Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu answered the questions of moderator İsmail Küçükkaya on June 16, it has been reported in the news that İmamoğlu and Küçükkaya met in a hotel in İstanbul before the TV debate.
Speaking about the incident, İsmail Küçükkaya has announced that they will file a lawsuit against the Marmara Hotel, who has leaked the security camera footage showing the meeting of Küçükkaya and İmamoğlu.
Addressing the issue in the Fox TV Morning News today (June 19), Küçükkaya said, “My Chief Editor Doğan Şentürk, who has always protected me, said, ‘We will file the severest criminal case and the heaviest action for damages against this hotel.’ Because, there is nothing secret about it, but they are carrying out a perception operation.”
Dündar: It is natural for moderator to meet the parties
Before İsmail Küçükkaya was designated as the moderator of the live TV debate, a proposal had been made to journalist and a columnist for the daily Sözcü, Uğur Dündar. However, Dündar did not accept the proposal, expressing his concerns about it in a tweet.
In his column on Sözcü today, Uğur Dündar has indicated, “Let me put this clearly: Before such an historic debate, there cannot be a more natural behaviour than a meeting held by the moderator with the two parties to talk about the principles of the program.”
Dündar was also the moderator of a similar TV debate in 2002 between AKP’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and CHP’s Deniz Baykal.
“While I was preparing for the Tayyip Erdoğan-Deniz Baykal debate in 2002, I separately met with representatives from both parties,” Dündar has stated regarding his own experience and added, “I remember it quite clearly that one of these meetings was also attended by Deniz Baykal himself.”
Özkök: I won’t set my foot at that hotel
Addressing the leaked security video in his column today, daily Hürriyet columnist Ertuğrul Özkök has said, “The privacy of none of the customers who go to that hotel is secure anymore” and asked,
“Did the hotel give this camera footage to the press itself? If not, upon the order of which prosecutor’s office or security directorate did it give this footage? If yes, did they request it by legal means?”
“I am proclaiming it here: Until the hotel releases a statement about this incident, I will in no way accept a dinner or meeting invitation at that hotel”, Özkök has indicated turther. (AÖ/SD)