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    Ertugrul Ozkok: More insider gossip for you

    Hürriyet Haber
    07.05.2008 - 13:50 | Son Güncelleme:

    The "insider" gossip which I wrote about in my column yesterday attracted a great deal of attention.

    The prime ministry released a second statement in response to the debates arising from yesterday’s column and the column of another journalist, Mehmet Ali Birand.

    The phrasing of the declaration was very interesting.

    I was unable to grasp the meaning of it.

    Let's read it together:


    "The statements referring to the prime minister in the columns’ of Ertugrul Ozkok from Hurriyet daily and Mehmet Ali Birand from Posta daily are being evaluated within the same framework.

    Since the topics commented on by these two journalists were based the subjects discussed during a private conversation, it does not mean that these statements, attributed to the PM, are true.

    Firstly, journalists have neither the right nor the responsibility to determine the language or statements made in the name of the prime minister.

    An unnoted private conversation cannot be accepted as the topic of articles when taken out of the context of the conversation between those present.

    We find that it has been necessary to make this declaration on behalf of the prime minister to counter any general acceptance that attributes the statements and language to the prime minister."

    * * *

    Let us analyze this declaration.

    The prime ministry does not declare that what we wrote "is untrue."

    Instead uses the unclear and unbinding statement: "It does not mean that it is true."

    The prime ministry's press consultant, Akif Beki, is a linguist.

    Using such an unclear statement, instead of being direct, reveals how he is being coerced.

    What is more, journalists living in Istanbul and Ankara, who personally know the journalists that attended the dinner, know that what Birand and I wrote in our articles, is indeed true.

    Let me remind of one detail that I focused on in the article. I wrote:

    The first point I mentioned was based not information I received directly from someone who attended the dinner.

    In that point, the PM was said to say, "If I had been involved, it would be sold for between $600-$700 million," referring to the sale of the Sabah-ATV media company.

    After receiving this information, I called two of the journalists who attended the dinner and asked them to confirm this statement.

    Both said, "No, the PM did not give the figure $600-$700 million."

    But both confirmed what I wrote yesterday.

    * * *

    More information about the dinner party:

    The invitation was also extended to the wives of those who attended.

    I also learned that the prime ministry had prepared the invitation list.

    That list did not include the name of one journalist who later attended the dinner.

    That name was added by he host, Can Paker.

    * * *

    Some journalists advised the prime minister to be tougher on three issues.

    “Reduce the authority of the Constitutional Court; amend the constitution. Be stricter on the army. Raise the bar in the Ergenekon issue.”

    I couldn’t decide whether this advice came from clueless friends or clever enemies.

    The insider gossip ends here.

     

     

     

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