PM Erdogan's leaked recording 'fabricated' -- report

Photo: PM Erdogan's leaked recording 'fabricated' -- report / Turkey

Recent leaks allegedly containing phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and family members were fabricated, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey said in a report sent to Ankara's public prosecutor that the leaks contained sound bites from illegally obtained recordings of Erdogan's phone conversations, which were tempered with "down to syllables."

"The words [in the leaks] have been made of syllables in order to add integrity to the conversations, instead of using a word-by-word montage method," the report said.

It said "frequently used software" were used in the examination.

Science Minister Nihat Isik said Friday the level of tempering in the recordings indicated the lengths to which the "parallel state" -- accused of illegal wiretappings -- was willing to go to in its effort to damage Erdogan and his government.

He added that the montage techniques at play in the recording were "rather amateurish."

One leak released in late December last year allegedly contained a phone conversation between Erdogan and his son Bilal on December 17, where they were portrayed as discussing hiding a large sum of cash upon news that sons of three other ministers were held over a corruption investigation launched that day.

The Istanbul-based anti-graft operation -- and another that began a week later -- led to the arrest of high-profile figures including several businessmen. All those detained under the investigations were later released pending trial.

The Turkish government decried the probes as a "dirty plot" against it, construed by a "parallel" group of bureaucrats which it said was nestled within the country's key institutions including the judiciary and the police, targeting Turkey's stability and development.

The government retaliated against the "plot" by restructuring the country's top judicial board HSYK and demoting a number of police chiefs and prosecutors, whom it considers affiliates of the "parallel state."

The group, allegedly run by a movement led by US-based Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, has been accused of conducting illegal wiretappings of thousands of people in Turkey, including the phone conversation between the Turkish premier and his son Bilal Erdogan.

Erdogan threatened to "enter the lairs of" their hidden enemies, and many police officers and judges were put under arrest as part of the investigation into claims of illegal wiretapping.

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