EXCLUSIVE: Hot on the heels of the Adem Somyurek branch stacking scandal, Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews has yet another headache on his hands with one of his other MPs with Turkish heritage – Natalie Suleyman – now at the centre of an “edit warring” fiasco on Wikipedia over previous corruption findings. Our publisher, Serkan Ozturk, himself of Turkish background, is perhaps the best placed to bring you this tale of corruption deleted.
He’s widely known as ‘Daddy’ Dan Andrews to his growing legion of social media fans, and ‘Dictator Dan’ to the shrivelled-faced, dark-hearted, sore losers that make up conservative politics but Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews, has now yet another corruption spotfire to put out hot on the heels of the Adem Somyurek “most powerful man” branch stacking scandal. And it involves yet another MP with Turkish heritage. This time, Natalie Suleyman, the Labor MP for the safe seat of St Albans since 2015.
Information passed to True Crime News Weekly shows that two months ago one particular user whose IP address traces back straight to the centre of Melbourne – where Victoria’s Parliament House is located – tried to make numerous edits to Ms Suleyman’s Wikipedia page, in a bid to delete information relating to previous misconduct and corruption findings during her time as a councillor and mayor of City of Brimbank council.
On the morning of April 18, the user with the IP address of ‘126.96.36.199’ attempted to make 11 changes to Ms Suleyman’s Wikipedia page, spending over 30 minutes in doing so.
It was the very first time the user had ever attempted to edit any Wikipedia pages whatsoever.
On at least three occasions, the user tried to remove or edit information relating to previous corruption or misconduct findings against Ms Suleyman, on the basis of the information supposedly being “false information” and “not correct” with demands that it all “needs to be removed”.
“This is false information, and needs to be removed”: On the morning of April 18, 2020 one mysterious Wikipedia user was spending over half an hour scrubbing Victoria Labor MP Natalie Suleyman’s Wikipedia page of any previous reported corruption findings (Images: Supplied)
For their troubles, the user was soon banned by Wikipedia for a period of 48 hours for the grave online encyclopaedia crime of “edit warring”.
The corruption probe into Ms Suleyman was launched in 2008, after she had failed in preselection for the state seat of Kororoit. The corruption probe eventually led to the sacking of Brimbank Council in 2009.
Amongst the many allegations detailed against Ms Suleyman, Victoria’s Ombudsman found she had threatened staff with an “improper and informal demand” to allocate almost $700,000 to a project at Cairnlea Park, at a facility in which sports clubs to which Ms Suleyman’s family were linked.
Ms Suleyman was first elected to Brimbank council in 2000, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2005, and served as its mayor on three occasions.
She was born Nazlı Süleyman in Melbourne’s west in 1974, after her parents had moved to Melbourne in the early 1970s from Cyprus, just a few years prior to the Turkish Government launching its eventually successful invasion on July 20, 1974 against the Greek military junta. Turkey now occupies just over a third of the island known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Greeks and Turks the world over still debate these historical wounds over raki and ouzo.
In any event, Ms Suleyman has always been proud of her heritage.
“Of course I am proud to be the first Australian woman of Turkish Cypriot heritage to serve in the Victorian Parliament — in fact a first for Australia. But of course it is not just about my background; it is about every person of every background who has made Australia their home,” she said in her inaugural speech delivered to Victoria’s Parliament on February 11, 2015.
“Although I am a new member of this place, I have represented the people of my community for many years. In 2000 I was elected to my local council, where I served for eight years and had the great honour of serving for three terms as mayor.”
Blocked for “edit warring” (Image: Supplied)
In her inaugural speech, Ms Suleyman would end up paying tribute and thanks to who else but the Turkish-born Adem Somyurek – the Labor MP and factional kingmaker now sacked and booted out of the Labor Party following a long-length sting investigation by Channel Nine after elements of Labor’s left leaked info about his alleged corrupt dealings.
“I also want to thank Adem Somyurek, a member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region in the Council, and Cesar Melhem, a member for Western Metropolitan Region in the Council, for their support and guidance,” Ms Suleyman said at the time.
“I truly will not forget their advice throughout this journey.”
In early 2018, Ms Suleyman was right in the thick of it when Somyurek was said to have pulled a butter knife on the Tourism Minister John Eren – another MP of Turkish heritage – following a “heated discussion in Turkish” at the Strangers restaurant located within Parliament.
As The Age reported the incident at the time, “at one point, Ms Suleyman is understood to have joined the discussion”.
There’s a Turkish word – sinir – and it can perhaps be best described as a combination of passion, drive and a little anger. It’s a part of Turkish character and culture. Perhaps every Turk possesses a degree of it, to one extent of another. One would wager that there was a lot of sinir that night in the restaurant when the butter knife was said to have been pulled.
True Crime News Weekly contacted the offices of both Premier Andrews and Ms Suleyman this week seeking comment about the Wikipedia edits but we did not receive a response.
This publisher of Turkish heritage would like to remind readers as well as our new friends at ASIO that while many of us may have sinir, not all of us are dodgy, and some of us even do some very useful work on behalf of the community and wider public. Güle Güle, Iyi Günler.