Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Bülent Tezcan provided the media with documents purportedly revealing off-shore bank transactions of the close circle and family members of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday. Tezcan also said the original transactions and documents will be given to the prosecutor’s office.
The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday launched an investigation into the CHP’s accusations of off-shore accounts.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu revealed on Nov. 28 that Erdoğan’s close circle – including his brother, his son and his executive assistant – made transactions worth around $15 million to an off-shore company called Bellway Limited in the tax haven Isle of Man in December 2011 and January 2012.
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.”
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan and members of his family on Friday filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1,5 million ($380,000) in damages for creating hatred in society against the president and his family, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to the news, the petition, which was signed by President Erdoğan, his son Ahmet Burak Erdoğan, his brother Mustafa Erdoğan, his brother-in-law Ziya İlgen, the father-in-law of his son Osman Ketenci and businessman Mustafa Gündoğan, accuses Kılıçdaroğlu of creating hatred in society againt them by making false claims along with insult, humiliation and derogation during a speech on Nov. 28.
On Nov. 24 Erdoğan had filed another lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1,5 million in non-pecuniary damages due to a speech on Nov. 21.
Kılıçdaroğlu had said in an address in İstanbul: “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?”
According to a report by Bianet on Tuesday, concerning the money transfers allegedly done by members of Erdoğan family, Kılıçdaroğlu has said during his parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 28 that:
- 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.