Russian claims 'over family' immoral: Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivering a speech in Ankara on Dec. 3, 2015. AA PhotoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed Moscow as “immoral” for accusing his family of being involved in illicit oil trade with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), again challenging his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to resign if he cannot prove the claims.
“Implicating my family with these accusations is especially immoral … Even Russia does not believe its claims,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech in Ankara, a day after renewed allegations by the Russian authorities that the Turkish president has been involved in the oil trade with ISIL.
He also repeated his previous vow to immediately resign from his post if the accusations are proven, while also challenging Putin to do the same if Moscow fails to back up its “slander” with evidence.
Erdoğan also said Turkey has proof of Russia’s involvement in the illicit oil trade.
“We have the proof in our hands. We will reveal it to the world,” Erdoğan stated.
“George Hasawi, a Syrian carrying a Russian passport, was the pioneer and the biggest trader of illicit oil with ISIL,” he added, noting Hasawi purchased oil from ISIL and sold it to the Syrian regime and international traders.
A prominent chess player, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was also involved in oil smuggling, Erdoğan stated.
The Turkish president also said he had warned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over disseminating similar news against his family.
“It had continued [in Iran] for about 10 days but then they removed it from their websites,” Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president also stressed that despite differences of opinion on Syria, Turkey had no hostility against any state, adding “no one” should expect Turkey to “make concessions” on its sovereign rights.
“This nation can live without anything… but it cannot live without its independence,” he said.