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Turkish Cypriot Leader Resigns After Compromising Sex Video Surfaces

Ersan Saner turkish cypriot prime minister
Ersan Saner, the leader of the self-proclaimed “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” resigned amidst an online sex scandal. Credit: Screenshot/YouTube

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersan Saner resigned on Wednesday after a compromising video appeared on social media on Tuesday evening. Saner’s National Unity Party (UBP) had withdrawn from the Turkish-occupied Cyprus “government” last week.

The government of the breakaway part of the island of Cyprus is not acknowledged by any nation on Earth other than Turkey.

Initially, the video was not openly circulating on social media but was widely shared through private accounts. By lunchtime Wednesday, however, it was readily available online.

The video appears to show Saner, the Turkish Cypriot leader of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Northern Cyprus” engaging in online sex with a woman. She is reportedly in her twenties, and appears to be putting on a striptease act in front of a camera.

Saner, who had been planning to continue in politics after early elections, possibly in December, also had to resign his party chairmanship. The UBP party is to hold an emergency meeting later Wednesday. It will appoint a new party leader and replacement leader.

Turkish-Cypriot leader raises specter of conspiracy

In a written statement, Saner spoke of a conspiracy against him. He said the video was the product of editing by a mobile phone bought on the Greek Cypriot side of the island. The whole exercise was designed to discredit him, he added.

There was also underworld involvement, Saner charged. Turkish Cypriot press reports earlier suggested that the video had been released by a Turkish mafia leader. They named Sedat Peker, an alleged Turkish Mafia boss.

Peker is also a whistle-blower who has made various allegations about Turkish politicians and numerous government engagements in illegal activities through his own YouTube channel. He lives in self-exile in the UAE and is considered an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan.

In his written statement following his resignation, Saner said he has been serving the Turkish Cypriot people for 20 years through the UBP. His plan was to run again as party leader during the Congress next week. But just ten days beforehand, the video was released, recorded on “a phone from southern Cyprus”, he says.

Ersan Saner claims he is “Target of defamation video”

Saner said that rumors had been circulating for months that something negative would happen. Still, he did not think his enemies “would sink to such a low level to harm his office, his family and his party.

“I am the target of very bad defamation with this video, which is a product of processing with the maximum use of technology. It is clear that someone wants to prevent me from serving my beloved country, my party. But they do this not through political means, but through open attacks. There is a conspiracy designed entirely for this purpose,” he said.

The existence of the video was first reported Tuesday night on Twitter by Turkish journalist Erk Adziarer. He also refers to a businessman in the north who allegedly possessed the video, which then allegedly fell into the hands of Sedat Peker.

Last week the north’s coalition “government” offered its resignation to Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar after it lost its majority in “parliament,” as Saner called for an early election.

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