Ufuk Uras, a veteran left wing activist was elected to the Turkish Parliament in July 2007 as an independent Deputy from Istanbul. He is the leader of the Left wing Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) and is the only deputy currently in Parliament, outside of the Kurdish parties with Left socialist credentials.
Last week Uras flew to Istanbul from Ankara having been in the Capital on Parliamentary business and came across Government Minister Nimet Çubukçu on the plane. We are told on landing, AK Party member Çubukçu asked Uras: “I can drop you wherever you are going”. Uras didn’t refuse and on alighting the plane they got into Çubukçu’s Official government limo.
The ÖDP activists waiting for Ufuk Uras at the The Marmara Hotel were shocked to see him getting out of a Mercedes with red Governmental license plates. Uras, who before the election had said he would go to Parliament on a bicycle, quickly realized traveling in a luxury official government car might not be the best thing for his radical image. Whilst there is no suggestion that Ufuk Uras was doing anything untoward but was simply taking advantage of a polite invitation from a fellow MP to get into Istanbul’s often congested city centre at speed. Comrade Uras might in future do well to ponder on the old saying ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.