CHP deputy questions government role in media sale
ANKARARecordings of phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan, and a number of ministers and businessmen have been brought to the parliamentary agenda by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Head Umut Oran.
In a written parliamentary question, Oran asked whether the prime minister had instructed his minister Binali Yıldırım to tell a group of businessmen to buy the Sabah newspaper and the ATV television station.
“In August 2013, did Binali Yıldırım, when he was a minister, order İbrahim Çeçen and Mehmet Cengiz to buy the Turkuaz Group through the Cengiz, Kolin, Limak consortium? Did he coordinate the money pool for the sale?” Oran asked Prime Minister Erdoğan.
Oran also asked if Yıldırım, who was transport minister at the time, gave a guarantee to the businessmen that they would be awarded tenders to make up for their losses if the sale went through.
The consortium won the tender to build Istanbul’s third airport in May 2013 for 22.1 billion euros.The sale of ATV-Sabah was reportedly the subject of a probe that stopped when its prosecutor was removed from office after the Dec. 17 crisis. In phone conversations leaked to the Internet last week, businessmen allegedly speak about the pressure they faced from the government to buy Sabah-ATV.