Eren Erdem, the deputy of Turkey's CHP political party, who is also an investigative journalist, now faces terrorism charges in his own country.
The Turkish government has submitted a motion to remove Erdem’s parliamentary immunity opening up Erdem to a possible lifetime in prison for ‘terrorism links.’
Sputnik Turkey got in touch with the Turkish lawmaker regarding the investigation in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) against him.
Erdem explained the reasons behind the charges to Sputnik, calling the investigation yet “another conspiracy” against him.
“They have launched an investigation into me for being a member of the ‘parallel structure’ which is a nondescript and ambiguous terrorist organization,” the lawmaker says.
“This investigation is based on ‘secret witness’ statements. There is no documentary evidence except this ‘secret witness.’ So, who is the secret witness?” he wonders.
“Let me explain; the owner of the newspaper that I manage was sunk due to some news about corruption. This witness sent me some messages via whatsapp and said that the government is offering me money, with Erdogan’s consent, that they promise to write off my tax debt, if I sign a statement that they want.”
“One of the reasons is my strong opposition to Erdogan’s policy, especially the Sarraf case in the US which is related to Erdogan and his ministers’ corruption. Two years ago, I was the only journalist who studied the money trail between Sarraf and politicians in Turkey. The government tried to destroy everything (documents, proof) associated with these relationships.”
The lawmaker refers to the case of Reza Zarrab, also known by the name Riza Sarraf, a Turkish gold trader who was at the center of a corruption scandal that engulfed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle.
Back in 2013 Sarraf was accused of bribing senior ministers from Turkey’s ruling party with cash and lavish gifts as part of a scheme to bypass US sanctions on Iran.
In response to the scandal, Erdogan turned Turkey’s bureaucracy upside-down, dismissing thousands of state employees, police officers and prosecutors, with many sent to jail.
He also labeled a group of former allies he blamed for the accusations, the Gulen religious movement, a terrorist organization.
“Another reason is my revelation about the deadly sarin gas allegation. Due to my investigation into the sarin gas issue, Erdogan and his government have been hell-bent on revenge for a long time,” Erdem continues.
What Erdem actually revealed in an interview with RT were the details from a criminal case opened, and then abruptly closed, by the General Prosecutor’s Office in the Turkish city of Adana.
His account alleges that Turkish authorities had acquired a great deal of evidence concerning sarin gas shipments to militants in Syria that later became Daesh (formerly ISIS/ISIL), but did nothing to stop them.
The lawmaker noted that materials for making chemical weapon were brought to Turkey and mixed in Daesh camps in Syria.
Despite the detailed evidence available, the 13 suspects arrested in raids in connection with the plot were released and the case was closed after just a week.
Shortly after his revelations Erdem was accused of treason with Recep Tayyip Erdogan then raging at the silence of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) concerning Erdem’s revelations.
“There is a deputy in this country, buried so deep in a pit of betrayal, and to a party that claims to be as old as the republic saying during an interview to a foreign television channel that Turkey is selling chemical weapons to terrorists,” Erdogan then told a crowd in the city of Konya.