Turkish Conservative Ruling Party Hit with Cocaine Scandal after Controversial Video Surfaces

Turkey’s ruling party faces a drug scandal after a video of a parliamentary staff allegedly using cocaine leaked last week.

The 28-year-old government staff Kursat Ayvatoglu appeared to be snorting cocaine in a luxury vehicle, which the opposition says pointed to corruption within the conservative ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Ayvatoglu, who was working as an adviser to AKP Vice-President Hamza Dag, initially said that he was inhaling “powdered sugar” not cocaine, amidst other leaked photos of him gambling and partying. 

The parliament staff was fired and arrested on Friday and eventually released, but has been placed under house arrest on Sunday. 

“I’m the victim here. I was blackmailed. I’ll file a complaint against this,” Ayvatoglu said. 

Meanwhile, Dag on Twitter denied the staffer was his aide, “Kürşat Ayvatoğlu, whose images are posted on social media, is not my consultant or private secretary.”

“The employment contract of the person who has been working as the head office staff for about 1 year was terminated yesterday evening.”  

Opposition legislator Haluk Peksen has now requested an inquiry probing the staffer’s wealth, despite a monthly salary of around $300.

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