Col. Ali Çakmakkaya, a judge, describes the headscarf as a “symbol of terrorism” in a voice recording, in which he also uses profanity while referring to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife, Emine Erdoğan.
The voice recording was released on Twitter on Tuesday, although the date of the recording remains unknown. A caption provided with the recording says Çakmakkaya made the statements in an official military setting.
Criticizing Erdoğan for not wearing a tie during his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Çakmakkaya says Erdoğan had put an end to state culture in Turkey. He talks about the wives of Erdoğan and Assad: “You look at the wife of the other [Assad]; she is pretty modern and [looks] European.” He adds that Erdoğan’s wife is not like this, using expletives in his description of Emine Erdoğan.
Çakmakkaya also compares Emine Erdoğan with the wife of Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. “Even the wife of Qatar [Emir] looks neater than his [Erdoğan’s]. Her head is covered but not with a headscarf. These [headscarves] are entirely militant symbols,” he says, adding, “This is not about faith. This is a symbol of terrorism.”
The colonel also claims that Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül live in palaces. “Did you know the prime minister has three palaces now? Dolmabahçe, Çırağan and another one,” he states. He further claims that President Gül has been given two palaces, one in Yıldız and another in Tarabya, both İstanbul neighborhoods. “Europe says that. I read it in a newspaper. They [Erdoğan and Gül] are chasing the former Ottomans. They are not for the people at all. Who owned these palaces? The people. We used to visit them as museums. Now these men use them,” he says, going on to say that if people tried to enter the palaces, police officers would stop them. “They are taking over all the palaces.”
Çakmakkaya also states that the police are attacking every place like “dogs” to find evidence against Ergenekon, a clandestine organization nested within the state plotting to manipulate or overthrow the democratically elected government.