Patriotic officials gave us documents on off-shore bank: CHP leader
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said he received documents purportedly revealing off-shore bank transactions of the close circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from “patriotic officials,” after Erdoğan vowed the CHP leader would “pay the price” for his move.
“There are millions of officials who love this country and are guarding this country’s interests. They are patriotic people. They are people who cannot tolerate injustices,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, speaking at the Equality, Justice and Woman Summit in Istanbul on Nov. 30.
The CHP leader also rejected claims that he received the documents from members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen, believed to have been behind the July 2016 coup attempt.
On Nov. 28, Kılıçdaroğlu brandished banking documents at CHP’s parliamentary group meeting arguing that they indicate multi-million U.S. dollars of transactions to an off-shore company in tax haven Isle of Man under the names of Erdoğan’s close circle including his relatives and a businessman.
Erdoğan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials denied Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments, urging the main opposition to reveal the source of the documents and to share the original copies with either prosecutors or the press.
“Since when have these patriotic bureaucrats been committing a constitutional crime?” AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal said on Nov. 30 after a meeting between AKP lawmakers and Erdoğan in Ankara, claiming that the CHP’s move is part of a bigger plot against Turkey.
“If the definition of patriotism is Kılıçdaroğlu’s alliance with international circles against Turkey, then its name is not patriotism. Its perversion and treason,” he added.
‘Kılıçdaroğlu will pay the price’: Erdoğan
In a furious response, Erdoğan vowed Kılıçdaroğlu would “pay the price” for his accusations.
“It is a party of treason. He [Kılıçdaroğlu] will pay the price for his move,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 30.
“We have the original documents. These are not the money going out from Turkey, it is money from a share transfer between the partners, and it is money that came into Turkey,” Erdoğan said.
“All the documents he showed are lies,” he added.
“There will be $2 million worth of non-pecuniary case filed against them,” he said.
CHP files motion for investigation
Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP’s reluctance to publicize the documents was “part of a strategy,” hinting that their next step would be determined after the CHP files a motion in parliament for an investigation.
CHP deputy group leader Özgür Özel said they haven’t yet revealed some documents in order to see the AKP’s reactions. “They are contradicting. One said it is fake, another said it is a secret, while another said it is not outflow but inflow.”
“These discussions prove we were right not to reveal the documents,” he said.
Parliament is set to vote for the formation of a commission to investigate the transactions, Özel said, adding that the CHP would reveal the documents after the vote.
In the event that the AKP opposes the formation of the commission, the CHP would reveal the documents at a press conference in the coming days, Özel said.
The commission would be formed with the majority votes from the AKP, he said, adding that then they will again reveal the documents with all political parties in parliament.
AKP lawmaker Naci Bostancı said his party believes the formation of a commission is not “convenient,” while Ünal said those accused are not “lawmakers” and the formation of a commission would “waste the parliament’s time on CHP lies.”
Saying that the five accused individuals referred the issue to judicial authorities for non-pecuniary damage, he said the CHP will be obliged to share the documents with the judiciary “to prove their allegations.”