Accessibility links

Turkey Opposition Party Leader Resigns, Claiming 'conspiracy'

The leader of Turkey's main opposition party has resigned following the release of a video onto the internet that allegedly shows him in a bedroom with a female lawmaker.

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal called the release of the tape a "conspiracy" and said the target was not just one person but his party's struggle for democracy.

In a Monday news conference, he also said it would have been impossible to organize what he called a "plot" in such a short period of time without the knowledge of the ruling AK party. He said it was no "coincidence" that the tape was released as the government was trying to enact constitutional reforms that his party opposes.

The short video was released on the Internet last week. Turkish news organizations say it shows Baykal with his former private secretary, Nesrin Baytok, who is now a deputy in the Turkish Parliament.

On Friday, Turkish lawmakers approved a series of constitutional reforms that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says will strengthen the country's bid to join the European Union. The government is preparing to submit a constitutional reform package to a national referendum. Baykal's party has threatened to challenge the referendum in court.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.