Jailed Turkish businessman İpek: ‘Accusing my mother of terrorism unacceptable’

Businessman Hamdi Akın İpek, his mother Melek İpek and his brother Cafer Tekin İpek.

Jailed Turkish businessman Cafer Tekin İpek, the brother of famous businessman Hamdi Akın İpek, who was the owner of multi-billion dollar Koza İpek Holding which was arbitrarily seized by Turkish government under the rule of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2015, said on Wednesday that “Any kind of accusations can be made about me. Maybe I will be evicted maybe not. Maybe I will be in prison for many years. But terror charge against such a person, my mother Melek İpek, is unacceptable.”

Forty-five executives and employees of the Koza-İpek Holding including the owner Hamdi Akın İpek’s  mother Melek İpek and his brother Cafer Tekin İpek have appeared before the court for the first time on Wednesday. They were charged with the allegations of “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “opposing the law of tax procedure.” 90-year prison sentence had been demanded for Cafer Tekin İpek in an indictment prepared by a prosecutor. After completing his defense, Tekin İpek’s words about his mother made Melek İpek cried.

Koza-İpek Holding has also owned İpek Media Group which includes Bugün daily, Bugün news channel, Kanaltürk, Millet daily and several radio stations. All the media assets of the group were also first seized and later closed by Turkish government.

Businessman Cafer Tekin İpek said that no criminal elements could be identified in the first tax review of the companies. Later on, with an anonymous tip letter, for the second time the investigation started for the company. “Despite the fact that it was known there was no offense, Koza-İpek Holding was raided by a large number of policemen for the second time with the order of the prosecutor conducting the investigation. Afterwards, with unrealistic, fabricated expert reports this case was filed,” said Tekin İpek.

“THE PATH THE PROSECUTORS ARE FOLLOWING IS ENTIRELY A CRIME” 

Tekin İpek has stated that all the notices sent to the company were replied in the legal framework and during the period given and all instructions of the public prosecutor were fulfilled. He has said that “The prosecutor who is responsible of investigating constitutional crimes has no authority to investigate public companies on its own motion. The public prosecutor does not have the authority to open an investigation in contradiction with the Capital Markets Board (CMB) Law on its own opinion. The path the prosecutors are following is completely criminal.”

Tekin İpek has added that the allegations of the public prosecutor are not reasonable allegations that compels to be appointed a trustee to the company.

THE PROSECUTOR SAID I WAS ARRESTED BECAUSE MY BROTHER IS FUGITIVE

After stating that he was kept in jail for 510 days as pre-trial detention unjustly, Tekin İpek has continued to say that “The prosecutor said to me, ‘We couldn’t find anything about you, instead of your brother (Akın İpek) we will arrest you’ and I was arrested upon his demand. Is my brother’s crime fixed or even fixed, will the crime spread to me? How does a prosecutor say, ‘I do not have anything to do with you, I’m arresting you because of your brother’? Three lawyers, a clerk and prosecutor witnessed the prosecutor’s inquiry.”

Tekin İpek has also stated that his personal wealth and all accounts of Koza Altın A.Ş. were examined by The Financial Crimes Invesitgation Board (MASAK) and that there was not a single suspicious transaction. He added that despite the fact that he sent MASAK’s clean report to the prosecutor’s office , he is unable to know why he remains arrested.

Businessman Tekin İpek has said that he had not used ‘ByLock’ and the phone loaded with that program was used by one of the company employees; Hasan Burak Sertcan. He added that his entire family had been punished.

Melek İpek

Tekin İpek stated “Any kind of accusations can be made about me. Maybe I’ll be evicted maybe not. Maybe I’ll be in prison for many years. But such a person, my mother Melek İpek, terror charge against her is unacceptable.”

While speaking about his mother Tekin İpek’s voice was reportedly trembled. After a while, could not hold his tears. Meanwhile, it was seen that his mother Melek İpek, who was at the court, was also wiping tears with a handkerchief.

COURT ASKS ABOUT DONATION THAT HE MADE FOR ‘KIMSE YOK MU’ CHARITY

The judge has reportedly asked Cafer İpek about the donations he made for the charity association ‘Kimse Yok Mu’, which was closed by a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Businessman Tekin İpek has said that he donated a total of 25 million liras as donations and aid for in the years to many associations and foundations and underlined that “President of Turkey was our family friend. He also said on television that ‘Kimse Yok Mu’ association is a charitable institution, everyone should help.’ Yes, I made this offer if I would be accused of following the instructions of our President. I have helped many charity associations not just that association.”

By saying that no criminal elements were found even in the digital data at home and at work during the police search Tekin İpek demanded his release.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in July 2017 that the Turkish government has seized 966 companies including the Koza-İpek Holding from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement as part of a witch-hunt launched following a failed coup attempt in July of last year. “In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş, speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara. It has been assumed that the economic volume of seized companies has reached to TL 50 billion.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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