A high-ranking official of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has apologised to Bilal Erdogan, one of the sons of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over his claim that Erdogan has connections with the DAESH terrorist organisation.
Professor of Medicine Haluk Koc, who is the spokesman and vice-chairman of the CHP, sent the apology.
“I have insensitively used news which was later denied by him. I apologise to small business owners [which he previously designated as DAESH members] in Istanbul because it is understood that I have mistreated them,” Koc said, according to media accounts.
He has also accepted that his apology has come very late “because the Turkish media has brought up the issue again after a considerable amount of time had passed.”
Koc made his DAESH claim last July, showing the pictures of Bilal Erdogan with several long-bearded men as evidence during a press conference.
Following the allegations, extensive media coverage concluded that the people in the picture were owners of a kebab restaurant called Cigeristan, which is located in the central district of Istanbul.
Koc has also tried to account for the incident saying that his advisers brought him the pictures of Erdogan and kebab men at the time and he decided to share them with the public without making further scrutinisation.
Bilal Erdogan had demanded a full apology from Koc over his false claims in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency on Friday.