Ex-envoy accused over wines
ANKARATurkey’s former permanent representative to the Council of Europe is accused of embezzling 2,000 bottles of wine worth 200,000 euros total, which the Prime Ministry Ethics Committee is investigating, a Turkish daily reported yesterday.
A notice sent to the Prime Ministry claimed former permanent representative Daryal Batıbay also allegedly bought special wines with embassy funds, daily Sabah reported.
The ministry had been informed of the claims and had begun investigating, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selçuk Ünal told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “After these investigations, the necessary legal actions will be taken,” he added.
Two experts went to Strasbourg and questioned all the officials at the embassy over five days. The inspectors said there was strong evidence Batıbay had embezzled the wines. In October 2011, only two months after his duty as ambassador was over, Batıbay allegedly wrapped the wine bottles in old clothes and brought them to Turkey in a truck that was not searched because of diplomatic immunity, said the daily. Batıbay told the daily he was not aware of the claims and all the wines had been counted before he handed over his office.