Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has documented on Tuesday that Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family members and relatives have transferred millions of dollar to a one-sterling foreign company on the Isle of Mann.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s exposures at the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting came after an exchange of words between Erdoğan and the CHP over the off-shore accounts of Erdoğan’s family members and relatives.
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu has shared the SWIFT codes and transfer receipts of 13 million 750 thousand dollars sent by Erdoğan’s brother, son, brother-in-law and principal clerk to Isle of Man with public.
Addressing Erdoğan, before exposing the documents Kılıçdaroğlu has said, “I know you are listening to me. Have a doctor by you.”
According to a report by Bianet on Tuesday, concerning the money transfers allegedly done by members of Erdoğan family, Kılıçdaroğlu has said:
- A company was founded on August 1, 2011 on Isle of Man. It is a very tiny island. We have the document of foundation of that company. This company holds executive board meeting as of August 2. The board consists of Sıtkı Ayan. It is a 1-sterlin company.
- On November 15, 2011, he handed over this company to Kasım Öztaş. Do you know who Sıtkı Ayan is? Do you know who Kasım Öztaş is?
- On December 15, 2011, Erdoğan’s brother-in-law Ziya İlgen sends 2,5 million dollars to this company.
- On December 15, 2011, Erdoğan’s brother Mustafa Erdoğan sends 2,5 million dollars to this company.
- On December 26, 2011, Ziya İlgen sends 1 million and 250 thousand dollars to this company.
- On December 27, 2011, Erdoğan’s father-in-law Osman Ketenci sends 1 million and 250 thousand dollars. His principal clerk Mustafa Gündoğan sends 1 million and 250 thousand dollars.
- On December 29, 2011, his son Ahmet Burak Erdoğan sends 1 million and 450 thousand dollars and sends 2 million and 3 thousand dollars on January 4, 2012.
“They may ask whether these allegations have documents? We have all the SWIFT messages of these transfers. What does a SWIFT message mean? When you transfer money abroad, you do that via this message,” said Kılıçdaroğlu and added that “I said, these are not sufficient, I need bank receipts. They may claim that these documents are fake. All these are banks’ official records. They transfer the money abroad and these are also in the records of those companies. You will do what you have to if you are a man of dignity.”
“We have the SWIFT documents of these transactions … We also have bank receipts,” Kılıçdaroğlu added, amid chants of “Erdoğan resign” from attendees of the group meeting. “We have all the records of this company,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “We also have all the documents of the financial transactions.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said that Bellway Limited was found on Aug. 1, 2011, with Sıtkı Ayan as its sole board member and “a one pound sterling founding capital.” “There are official records showing that it belongs to him both from Turkey and from the Isle of Man,” he said, adding that the company was transferred to Kazım Öztaş on Nov. 15, 2011.
Sıtkı Ayan had came to the attention of Turkey when a voice recording was leaked to the Internet in 2014. In the alleged phone conversation between then-Prime Minister Erdoğan and his son Bilal Erdoğan that was uploaded to YouTube in 2014, Erdoğan allegedly tells Bilal to reject $10 million from Ayan, the owner of Som Petrol, which had been granted tax-free incentives by the government to build new oil pipelines from Iran, saying that the amount was too low.
“Don’t take it. Whatever he has promised us, he should bring this. If he is not going to bring that, there is no need,” the alleged voice of Erdoğan says.
“The others are bringing it. Why can’t he? What do they think this business is? … But don’t worry, they will fall into our lap,” the voice says.
CHP’s Press Consultant Okan Konuralp has said that they will share the documents with the media on Wednesday.
Tension between the Erdoğan government and main opposition CHP has escalated once again after Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan and his family of having offshore bank accounts worth of millions of dollars last week.
Following Paradise Papers revelations that Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s sons had invested in tax-haven Malta, Kılıçdaroğlu in a speech on Nov. 21 asked questions of Erdoğan: “Dear Erdoğan, do you know that your children, your brother-in-law, the father-in-law of your [son], your brother and your former principal clerk have sent millions of dollars to a tax haven?”
“Dear Erdoğan, you speak well, influence people, play with all of their values, politicize all their values, trying by all means to stay in power. I am asking a simple question to you [Erdoğan]. Have your children sent a million dollars abroad?” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Erdoğan last Friday filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1.5 million in non-pecuniary damages for insulting himself and his family.
Erdoğan repeated his challenge to Kılıçdaroğlu to either prove his claims or resign from his position, vowing to do the same if the CHP leader can prove that he or his family members have money abroad. “He made such claims in the past and probably will repeat them again. Can he prove these with documents? No,” he said.
“If Tayyip Erdoğan has a single penny abroad, he should prove it. If proven, I will not stay in this presidential post for even one minute,” Erdoğan had said on Nov. 26. “In which off-shore bank does Tayyip Erdoğan have an account? Prove it. If you cannot prove it, you yourself will have to quit politics. If you do, I will quit politics and my post in the presidency,” he added.
“I have proven it, now tell me who is disreputable … If you are a man of honor, you will do what is necessary. Full stop,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan has accused the CHP of becoming Turkey’s “main treason party,” blasting its leader Kılıçdaroğlu as “discredited” and “extremely confused.” “It’s very unfortunate to observe the CHP rapidly sliding into a status of the main treason party because of this person (Kılıçdaroğlu),” Erdoğan said in a weekly address to his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Ahmet Özel, a lawyer for President Erdoğan, has also claimed the documents publicised on Nov. 28 by CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu on off-shore accounts linked to Erdoğan are “fake,” describing the allegations as “lies.” Özel also urged Kılıçdaroğlu to “immediately” hand the documents to the prosecutor’s office and file a criminal complaint if necessary.
AKP deputy Metin Külünk has also said Kılıçdaroğlu has become a national security issue. “Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the CHP have become a national security issue for Turkey. It must be evaluated at the National Security Council meeting,” Külünk tweeted on Tuesday. Külünk also accused Kılıçdaroğlu of “acting with the Gülen movement” and “betraying Turkey.”
Moreover, speaking to Russia’s Sputnik News, AKP Group Deputy Chair Naci Bostancı said that “He is shaking some documents, we don’t know what they are.”
Giving an interview to Erdoğan’s propaganda mouthpiece aHaber TV, Bülent Turan, AKP’s other Group Deputy Chair, has claimed that Kılıçdaroğlu presented official transactions as documents and urged him to resign.
It was also reported that state-run TRT has cut the live broadcast as Kılıçdaroğlu started to present the documents concerning President Erdoğan’s family and acquaintances transferring money abroad.