Professor Esin Davutoğlu Şenol, a microbiologist at Gazi University in Ankara, has said she was asked by Turkey’s state-funded TRT broadcaster to contradict newly elected opposition mayor Mansur Yavaş, who denied claims that a recent spike in diarrhea cases in the capital city was due to the quality of the water supply, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Tuesday.
“The news network that asked me to speak about diarrhea had a specific request: that I attribute it to the waterworks,” Şenol tweeted on Monday. “I actually tweeted the name of the broadcaster, then deleted it. Because they are funded by our taxes and they will have lies to tell whatever we do. I just wanted you to know.”
“This time every year, we see an increase in cases of diarrhea,” she added.
Mayor Yavaş had denied the claims about the water quality, underlining a written statement released by the city’s waterworks company ASKİ that the chlorine concentration in the water supply was above 0.2 mg/L.
In response, the state-run TRT broadcaster denied Şenol’s revelation, claiming that the scientist had turned their conversation into slander in order to erode the network’s credibility among the public.
“We will seek justice on legal grounds against this slander,” TRT said.
Mayor Yavaş took office as mayor of Turkey’s capital city after he won the local elections on March 31, ending a 25-year-long rule by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its Islamist predecessors.