Erdoğan rejects CHP off-shore accusations, asks for ‘proof’
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusations that his relatives have carried out multi-million dollar off-shore banking transactions.
“There isn’t a single penny that has gone abroad. What this person [Kılıçdaroğlu] says is a lie,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 29, calling on the CHP leader to give “all documents to prosecutors and the public.”
His comments came after Kılıçdaroğlu accused relatives of the president, including his son and his brother, of making transactions worth $15 million to an off-shore company account in the tax-haven Isle of Man.
Brandishing banking documents at the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu listed the names of Erdoğan’s brother-in-law Ziya İlgen, his brother Mustafa Erdoğan, his son Burak Erdoğan, the latter’s father-in-law Osman Ketenci, and businessman Mustafa Gündoğan, as well as the dates and amounts of transactions made to the company called Bellway Limited in 2011 and 2012.
In response, Erdoğan blasted Kılıçdaroğlu for “lying,” claiming that “these five people have never sent money to this company or place.”
“On the contrary, they received money because they had sold their existing companies. Money was not sent there ... For those who understand commerce, trade and entrepreneurship, there is no problem in these actions,” he said.
“A person who is engaged in commerce can establish companies at home and abroad, sell companies, buy companies, make money transactions and receive money,” he added, also denying that Mustafa Gündoğan has ever been his “executive assistant.”
“That person has never been my executive assistant. It is such a big lie. If you have a trace of character, prove when Mustafa Gündoğan was my executive assistant and if you cannot then move aside,” he said.
Erdoğan also vowed to file a further criminal complaint about the accusations.
“Right now the aforementioned people - my brother, son-in-law, my son’s father-in-law and other friends will file criminal complaints at the highest level,” he said, adding that lawyers have already initiated the legal process.
“If you say that you hold every relevant document, stop waving them around from the lectern, and share them with our nation and the related authorities. Hand them to the prosecutor’s office,” Erdoğan said.
“If there is criminal activity, bring them down,” he added.
PM says documents are ‘fake’
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also slammed Kılıçdaroğlu for revealing “fake documents,” accusing the CHP leader of “attempting to destroy president’s reputation.”
“Holding a wad of papers in a party group meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu attempted to commit a murder of reputation through our president’s relatives. With erroneous documents, he thought he could damage our president’s reputation through his relatives,” Yıldırım said on Nov. 29.
CHP motions for investigation
The CHP has announced that it will issue a motion for forming an investigation commission in parliament to probe the accusations. It said it will hand the documents to parliament if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rules in favor of forming the commission.
“If you have a courage, we will issue a motion for investigation, and we can investigate piece by piece,” CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan stated on Nov. 29.
Tezcan said the banking transactions show an “ethical problem” rather than a “criminal one,” so referring them to prosecutors would be “irrelevant.”
“If you think these relations are legitimate, then let’s go to parliament and form a commission to investigate the documents,” he added.
In order to form a commission in the 550-seat parliament, a majority vote is needed.