The footage, which a man is seen seemingly snorting cocaine triggered a widespread debate in Turkey as this man is alleged to be Kürşat Ayvatoğlu, the private secretary of the Vice-Chair of the ruling AKP.
After a video showing Kürşat Ayvatoğlu seemingly using drugs in a luxury vehicle spread on social media on Friday, it quickly became a trending topic on Twitter in Turkey.
Kürşat Ayvatoğlu, it is claimed, is the private secretary and a consultant of Hamza Dağ, the Vice-Chair of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party.
Thousands of tweets have been shared within a few hours, with many posts including photographs of Kürşat Ayvatoğlu with President Erdoğan and Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
Although it is not yet clear whether or not he has a role in the AKP, Kürşat Ayvatoğlu has many photos posing with high-level AKP members, including President Erdogan and Minister Soylu.
Upon the emergence of the controversial video, many other photographs of Ayvatoğlu were shared on Twitter where he was shown with gambling tables and his million-dollar luxury cars.
Twitter users in Turkey have shared their criticisms on the “hypocracy” of the ruling AKP as being supposedly the party known for its conservative religious attitude. Many users also brought attention to Süleyman Soylu’s harsh and moralistic discourse against drug-usage.
Turkey’s Interior Minister had been accused of “incitement to commit a crime” by human rights defenders and opposition politicians for suggesting that the Turkish police “break the legs of drug dealers who are seen outside schools”.
Upon the accusations, Soylu had further stated, “If a dealer is near a school the police have a duty to break his leg. Do it and blame me. Even if it costs five, 10, 20 years in jail – we’ll pay it.”
Ankara Police Department announced that Kürşat Ayvatoğlu has been detained. “Upon the images shared on social media showing a person using narcotic-stimulant substances in the vehicle, the person named H.K.A. was caught and detained, a judicial investigation was initiated against him,” the Ankara Police said in a written statement.
AKP Vice-Chair issued statement
Hamza Dağ issued a statement on his Twitter account about Ayvatoğlu following the public outrage.
“The employment contract of the person who has been working as a head office staff for about 1 year was terminated yesterday evening. That person was detained. We will follow the legal process,” the AKP Co-Chair said.
Sharing the video of Ayvatoğlu using drugs together with a video of Soylu’s parliamentary speech, a Twitter user said, “what Soylu meant as ‘nation’ is understood better every day. It turned out that the AKP’s chief of staff was using cocaine | Footage has been revealed showing Kürşat Ayvatoğlu, the executive assistant of AKP’s Vice-Chair Hamza Dağ using cocaine.”
A Twitter user said, “Political Islamists have their hands in everything! People who were asking where are the taxes spent, I hope you see the answer here. They take cocaine that they buy with our taxes in the luxury cars that they buy with our taxes.” as another user tweeted, “What you owe is what you steal from us.”
A Twitter account who also reacted to the footage said, “The disgrace of the new generation begins to be revealed.”