Turkish Prime Minister Targeted in Second Audio Tape
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A second audio recording, presented as the voice of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan asking his son not to accept an amount of money on offer in a business deal but to hold out for more, was published on YouTube by an anonymous poster using a pseudonym.
Erdogan said a similar post on the video-sharing site on Monday, allegedly of him telling his son Bilal to dispose of large sums of cash as a graft investigation erupted, was faked by his political enemies.
"Don't take it. Whatever he has promised us, he should bring this. If he is not going to bring that, there is no need," says the voice on the latest recording, presented by a user under the pseudonym Haramzadeler as that of Erdogan.
"The others are bringing. Why can't he bring? What do they think this business is? ... But don't worry they will fall into our lap," the voice says.
Reuters could not verify the authenticity of either recording.
"We are going to check whether the tapes are fake or not and no statement is planned at the moment," a senior government official told Reuters.
The recordings, which appeared within days of the ruling AK Party's official launch of a campaign for local elections at the end of March, are the latest and potentially most damaging allegations in a graft scandal that Erdogan has cast as concocted to unseat him.
The lira weakened to a three-week low of 2.2525 to the dollar overnight from around 2.23 in Wednesday afternoon trade, with fragile sentiment due to the graft row compounded by emerging market worries over escalating tension in Ukraine.
The currency partially recovered to 2.2372 by 0825 GMT.
Late on Monday, Erdogan's office released a statement describing the first recordings as "completely untrue and the product of an immoral montage."
Erdogan was scheduled to speak at local election campaign meetings in the western provinces of Burdur and Usak on Thursday afternoon.