CHP files complaint against PM Erdoğan over ‘hidden’ asset holdings

CHP files complaint against PM Erdoğan over ‘hidden’ asset holdings

CHP files complaint against PM Erdoğan over ‘hidden’ asset holdings

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Konya deputy Atilla Kart. AA Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s formal declaration of assets, in line with procedures needed in order to run for the presidency, has been greeted by speculation that it may not reflect his entire fortune, prompting a main opposition deputy to file a complaint on charges that Erdoğan is “hiding his assets from the public.”

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Konya deputy Atilla Kart said there is strong evidence that the clout and power of the prime ministry has been misused by Erdoğan to allocate tenders, follow up third persons’ business-related issues, and engage in official misconduct, in a criminal complaint filed at the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on July 4.

Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) presidential candidate, filed his declaration of property to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) on June 3, which purportedly showed how his financial assets had grown from 2011 to 2014. However, according to the declaration, a 2,000-square meter piece of land in Erdoğan’s hometown of Güneysu, Rize (worth 10,000 Turkish Liras) is the sole real estate property that he owns. This inspired daily newspaper Cumhuriyet to state in its front page headline on July 4: “The prime minister doesn’t even have a house.”

Erdoğan enters the presidential race after a turbulent period, after facing large corruption allegations in the Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe. A voice recording leaked in February, in which Erdoğan is allegedly heard asking his son Bilal to “zero” millions of euros in cash, stashed at several houses, also sparked a bitter political debate.

In his complaint to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Kart referred to the tapes, the authenticity of which have been rejected by Erdoğan, saying “the prime minister has been hiding his actual property holding.”

“[Erdoğan has made] his property holding via criminal relations, transferred it to third persons through collusion, and other connections will be revealed if his relatives’ property holdings are investigated,” Kart added.

According to the declaration, Erdoğan currently has a personal car (worth 234,080 liras) a total of 4,404,192 liras and $200,000 in all his bank accounts, and 500,000 liras in holdings (debt receivable), in addition to the land in his hometown.

“The source of the prime minister’s income is not certain. The prime minister’s income is an extraordinary size. There is a need to investigate this source,” Kart stated.

Violation of law against bribery, corruption

Accusing Erdoğan of violating Law No. 3638, which covers declaration of assets and the struggle against bribery and corruption, Kart asked the prosecutor’s office to draft a summary of proceeding against the prime minister and send it to Parliament.

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu and Selahattin Demirtaş, the two opposition presidential candidates, also filed their declarations of property to the YSK on the same day as Erdoğan.

According to the documents, İhsanoğlu, the joint presidential candidate of the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), currently has nine apartments in Istanbul with his wife, whether bought or inherited, as well as $3,500,000 in the bank and 240,000 liras in cash. He also has a 2006 Opel Vectra car.

According to his own declaration of property documents, Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) co-leader Demirtaş has a house in his hometown Diyarbakır (worth 260,000 liras), an office that he uses as his own legal office in Diyarbakır (worth 100,000 liras), two automobiles – both Audis – that he uses during his party-related work, as well as a Skoda used by his spouse, Başak Demirtaş.