AKP refused probe into Paradise Papers revelations: CHP
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has challenged President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to “reveal his wealth,” blasting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for rejecting a probe into the Paradise Papers revelations.
The sons of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım had appeared in the revelations as the owners of multiple companies based in the tax haven of Malta.
“I am calling out to Mr. Binali Yıldırım. Did the AKP reject the probe with your will or the presidential palace’s will? I want to know. I believe it was the will of the palace,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Nov. 21, addressing his party in parliament.
Kılıçdaroğlu referred to the CHP’s motion demanding an investigation into Turkish politicians’ accounts in tax havens, as revealed by the Paradise Papers, which was rejected in parliament on Nov. 14 by a majority of AKP votes.
After his son’s names appeared among the owners of companies based in tax havens cited in the Paradise Papers, Yıldırım on Nov. 7 told reporters that he would “welcome any investigation” into his sons.
“I urge that any sort of investigation, be it financial or legal, be launched,” he said.
Citing Yıldırım’s comments, Kılıçdaroğlu challenged President Erdoğan to reveal his and his family’s wealth.
“Reveal to us however many millions of dollars you have. And where is that money? Let us see it first,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also claimed that Erdoğan’s close circle has deposited money in off-shore tax havens.
“Erdoğan, I will ask you a simple question: Do you know that your children, your brother-in-law, your father-in-law, your brother, and your former executive assistants have deposited millions of U.S. dollars into a company based in off-shore tax-havens?” he asked, referring to a specific company without citing its name.
“I will tell you the founding capital of that company: One pound sterling. But the money sent to it is millions of dollars. I am waiting for an answer to this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also recalled a tax law issued in 2006 that orders parliament to list the countries regarded as “tax havens” and stipulates a 30 percent tax on companies based in these countries.
“For 11 years, the cabinet has not determined these countries. You are refusing to investigate. It is a neglect of duty. It is an intentional decision to not apply taxes,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
“You are sending money there [to tax havens] but ordinary citizens do not have money to convert. It is immoral,” he said, referring to Erdoğan’s call on Turkish citizens on Dec. 2, 2016 to convert their foreign exchange into gold or Turkish Liras as the value of the lira declined sharply against the U.S. dollar.