Turkish main opposition voices new graft claims

Turkish main opposition voices new graft claims

Turkish main opposition voices new graft claims

‘You [Erdoğan] are giving your son an advantage by using your position,’ says CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. CİHAN photo

The main opposition party has voiced new graft claims against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family, with a question on a nearly $100 million transaction to the bank account of a foundation that has Erdoğan’s son as one of its board members. 

“TÜRGEV [the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey] has an account at Vakıfbank: [account number] TR 20020001500158048013239675. Now I've got questions for the prime minister: First, does TÜRGEV have such an account? Secondly, were $99,999,990 transferred into this account on April 26? Is this money graft? We'll satisfy our curiosity if you make a statement on this,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a parliamentary group meeting yesterday. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan had converted the foundation into a “center of graft” and pulled his own son, Bilal Erdoğan, into the corruption network via TÜRGEV. 

“It’s being run by Bilal Erdoğan. We're not beating the air. You're giving your son an advantage by using your position. You are asking for bribes [from businessmen] in return for pledging tenders. In one of your statements, you said: ‘I have never seen a thief learning how to steal from his son. It descends from father to son.’ But you have pulled your own son into corruption and graft. Aren’t you aware what kind of a sin you have committed?” he said.

Showing a picture taken three weeks before the Dec. 17, 2013 operation that showed Erdoğan and the now-arrested Reza Sarrab, along with other allegedly corrupt former ministers, Kılıçdaroğlu called the prime minister to immediately submit a summary of proceedings about four of his ministers to Parliament. 

“Mr. Recep, even if we bring all washing machines together, they won’t be enough to clear the dirt on you. You should immediately send these proceedings. Otherwise I will write the title of ‘chief thief’ on your forehead,” the CHP leader said. 

He also claimed that Erdoğan accepted two villas from a businessman in return for easing zoning restrictions in Urla, near İzmir, just after sacking the former governor for refusing to do so. “I cannot understand their interests in villas; especially villas with pools,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

He also read out the transcript of an alleged voice recording between Erdoğan and a businessman, regarding the Urla villas.