CHP leader challenges PM Erdoğan on bank claims
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks during a press conference at his party's headquarters in Ankara, June 23. AA PhotoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has challenged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, vowing to pay the latter’s attorney’s fee if he is willing to prove that he does not have eight Swiss bank accounts, as was claimed in a Wikileaks document back in 2010.
In remarks delivered before a CHP Party Assembly meeting on June 23, Kılıçdaroğlu focused on the various allegations that surfaced with the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe, which indicated the involvement of Erdoğan and his children in unprecedented levels of graft. He recalled how Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç confirmed at the time that the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV), a charity NGO including Erdoğan’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, among its board members, had received $99,999,900 in aid from abroad between 2008 and 2012.
“Why doesn’t Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who objects to everything, speak about this issue? Look at those who have won tenders, they first put money into this [foundation]. Along with his son, Erdoğan is in the position of both ‘bribed’ and ‘briber,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Afterward, the CHP leader read out a transcript of a recording of an apparent conversation between Erdoğan and his son Bilal, which appears to prove their involvement in corruption.
Kılıçdaroğlu linked the recordings to claims about Erdoğan’s alleged Swiss bank accounts. “If you don’t want to pay the attorney, just give this instruction: Give a petition to the Swiss authorities and request whether you have accounts in Swiss banks. I give you my word of honor, I will pay that attorney’s fee, as long as you give this petition. If you don’t, I will say that you have stolen money and put it in Swiss banks. You cannot get rid of this,” he said.
“I will do this to clear you of [wrongdoing], if you are clean. If you are dirty, I know that you would not ask for such a thing from me,” Kılçdaroğlu added.
The CHP head also took aim at Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek over the delay in forming an inquiry commission into four former ministers involved in the corruption claims, saying it was part of an attempt to prevent the CHP from reviewing the summary of proceedings against the ministers. He similarly targeted Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, noting how Arınç had indicated that the ruling AKP’s further delay in nominating candidates for the to-be-formed commission would be “a deliberate delay.”
“I want everybody to know about this double-standard,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Visit to Cologne after Essen
Kılıçdaroğlu, who visited the German city of Essen in the first week of June, will travel to Cologne on June 26, in the run up to the presidential elections in Turkey, in which millions of Turkish voters living abroad – including 1.5 million in Germany alone - will be eligible to cast their votes.
CHP Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu and the party’s coordinator for relations abroad, Durdu Özbolat, will accompany Kılıçdaroğlu on the two-day visit.