Turkey's main opposition exposes alleged phone traffic between PM and family on Dec 17
Republican People’s Party deputy head Umut Oran listed the exact times of the alleged conversations in motion to Parliament. AA photoThe main opposition’s deputy chair has claimed to reveal the exact timing of a series of conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family on Dec. 17, 2013, the day a huge graft probe involving the government began.
According to telephone surveillance and signal (HTS) records, PM Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan and his daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan conducted hectic phone calls on the morning of Dec. 17, according to Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy head Umut Oran, who listed the exact times of the conversations in motion to Parliament.
They include calls from sister to brother; from father to son and two calls before noon from son to father.
In a motion filed to Parliament pursuant to a response from Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, Oran asked why the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office gave an order to the Istanbul Police Department to delete records of information starting Dec. 15, 2013, and continuing thereafter.
Upon his father’s instruction, Sümeyye Erdoğan flew to Istanbul on board a Turkish Airlines (THY) plane along with a female guard from the Police Department on that morning and conveyed to Bilal Erdoğan addresses where large amounts of money kept at home would be transferred, Oran said, while noting that a former minister, Koray Aydın, flew on board the same plane as Sümeyye Erdoğan.
The CHP deputy said Erdoğan made phone calls to the children on two different telephone devices, while the son used different telephone lines for talks with his father and sister. Oran asked why the Communications Ministry, the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) and the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office asked for the deletion of the HTS records, suggesting that Abdullah Tivnikli, a businessman who is a partner of Batı Hattı A.Ş., a company involved in Gazprom deals, was tasked with persuading three GSM operators because they had objected to such instructions on the grounds that they were “illegal.”
Oran provided the numbers of the seats of Sümeyye Erdoğan and her bodyguard on the THY plane as well as other phone calls among Erdoğan and his son and his daughter, suggesting that Erdoğan called them both from Ankara and Konya, where he travelled to attend the Şeb-i Aruz (Night of Union) ceremony to commemorate the 740th anniversary of the death of Jalaladdin Rumi (Mevlana), a well-known Turkish philosopher and poet. He provided exact timings of these calls, which extended into the night of Dec. 17 as well.
Earlier in March, a series of audio recordings involving the prime minister, his son and his son-in-law Berat Albayrak were released online.