Turkish businessman: phone calls fabricated to target him

ISTANBUL - Turkish businessman Abdullah Tivnikli, who testified as part of a graft probe launched Dec. 25, said Tuesday that some people fabricated phone recordings to target him.

"Those who intercepted my calls tapped me for one and a half year, without finding anything illegal," Tivnikli told The Anadolu Agency. "Then they spliced several tapes to add comments."

Tivnikli was one of the people involved in a corruption investigation that was launched a week after another extensive anti-graft operation was conducted on Dec. 17, and which led to the arrests of a number of high-profile people close to the Turkish government. People who were detained have been freed last week.

Anti-graft operations were decried by the government as a "dirty plot" set in motion by a "parallel state" nestled within the country's police department and judiciary.

Tivnikli said fabricating such phone calls was one of the most serious ways to damage Turkey's stability.

"Such operations cause repercussions not only in the economy, but also in the social order," he said, reiterating that the value of the Turkish lira dropped significantly after the operations.

He said the lira's declining value has negatively affected investors' confidence in Turkey’s economy and this would make the country suffer economically in the near future.

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