Prove I have cash stashed abroad and I will resign: President Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has challenged the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader to reveal any documents proving allegations that he and his family have money stashed away in offshore tax-havens.
“If Tayyip Erdoğan has a single penny abroad, he should prove it. If proven, I will not stay in this presidential post for even one minute,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 26.
“In which off-shore bank does Tayyip Erdoğan have an account? Prove it. If you cannot prove it, you yourself will have to quit politics. If you do, I will quit politics and my post in the presidency,” he added.
His comments came following CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusations that Erdoğan’s close circle deposited money in off-shore tax havens, after the Paradise Papers revelations showed the names of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s sons as the owners of multiple companies based in the tax haven Malta.
“Erdoğan, I will ask you a simple question: Do you know that your children, your brother-in-law, your father-in-law, your brother, and your former executive assistant have deposited millions of U.S. dollars into a company based in off-shore tax-havens?” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Nov. 21, referring to a specific company without citing its name.
“I will tell you the founding capital of that company: One pound sterling. But the money sent to it is millions of dollars. I am waiting for an answer to this,” he added.
“Reveal to us however many millions of dollars you have. And where is that money? Let us see it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
In response Erdoğan blasted Kılıçdaroğlu, demanding that he reveal documents proving his accusations.
“I am asking this person, whose name I would not even consider uttering: Are there documents proving your accusations? If there are, make them public and I will do what is necessary,” he said.
“If you don’t, admit that you engaged in defamation and apologize,” he added.
The president also stated that his lawyers had filed a legal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu, demanding non-pecuniary damages worth 1.5 million Turkish Liras.
Erdoğan’s lawyers filed the complaint against the CHP head on Nov. 24, demanding 1.5 liras (around $350,000) for the comments.