HP: Tourism Ministry's Statements Aimed at Diverting Attention
HP issued a written statement regarding the Antiquities Department's claim that "14 contracts were renewed without tender during the Özersay period," asserting that the Tourism Ministry's statements were aimed at changing the agenda.
In the written statement issued by the People's Party (HP), it was stated:
"After the Ombudsman report last week revealing that illegal tenders were made at the Antiquities Department under the Ministry of Tourism, and then the matter was referred to the police, the statements of the Tourism Ministry were argued to be aimed at changing the agenda."
The statement continued:
"During the period when the person appointed as the director during the DP era, who was appointed as the director during the DP era, was revealed to have made unlawful actions by concealing the opinion of the Prosecutor's Office in 2019 with the Ombudsman report, the said director was immediately dismissed by HP General President Kudret Özersay, who was the minister at the time, and a new opinion was sought from the Prosecutor's Office regarding the leases. In accordance with the opinion received from the Prosecutor's Office, tenders were issued for leases within the Antiquities Department, and tenders were even issued for the operation of toilets. In summary, HP acted in accordance with the law during its tenure in government, dismissed the director who acted contrary to this, and implemented what was stated in the Prosecutor's Office opinion."
"We Conducted Disciplinary Investigations"
The statement emphasized that contrary to the allegations of the Tourism Ministry, disciplinary investigations were initiated against some public officials during this period, as well as during the previous period, and complaints were lodged with the police and the Prime Ministry Inspection Board. It was stated that the expenditures of the dismissed director's tenure were sent to the Court of Accounts for examination.
The statement also highlighted:
"In 2019, based on the findings of the Ombudsman regarding the illegal practices during the DP and Mr. Fikri Ataoğlu's Ministry period, criminal complaints were filed with the police regarding some wrong practices within the Antiquities Department, and disciplinary investigations were initiated against some individuals, resulting in their resignation from public duty."
The statement concluded with the following remarks:
"Last week's criminal complaint to the police covered not only a specific period but all periods, as claimed by the Ministry of Tourism. All actions of all directors, especially those who continued to operate without tenders despite being aware of the opinions of the Prosecutor's Office and oversight bodies, need to be questioned. This country urgently needs a political understanding that acts in accordance with the law, respects the opinions of the Prosecutor's Office and oversight institutions, and is transparent and accountable. A political understanding based on distributing benefits to friends, relatives, and party members has gradually destroyed the institutions of this state one by one. Anyone who loves this country and really wants to protect it should act in accordance with the law and be in a position to be held accountable when questioned or when an allegation is made."