Erdogan Denies Connection to Opposition Sex Tapes, Sabah Says

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied accusations that his party was behind the release of sex tapes that have so far led to the resignations of 11 opposition politicians, Sabah newspaper reported.

“The AKP has nothing to do with these tapes,” Sabah reported Erdogan telling a crowd in the northwestern city of Bursa, where he was campaigning before general elections on June 12. Erdogan suggested that the tapes were the work of gangs connected to the parties and trying to “redesign” them, Sabah said.

The release or threatened release of sex tapes by a group calling itself “Different Nationalists” has led to the resignation of 10 politicians, including six on May 21, from Devlet Bahceli’s Nationalist Action Party, the second-biggest opposition group in parliament. The party has blamed Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party or AKP for the tapes.

The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, took over a year ago after his predecessor Deniz Baykal resigned following the release of a sex tape showing him with a female legislator in a hotel room.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Ankara at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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