The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came to power 14 years ago as a devout Muslim, announcing that he intended to eliminate the corruption of Turkish politics.
As he consolidated his authority and passed from the prime minister to an autocratic president, he forgot his promises and committed himself to the very corrupt policies he had condemned.
As the British historian Lord Acton once said: "Power tends to corrupt, Absolute power corrupts absolutely!"
This week, I wish to cover the fourth Erdogan corruption scandal, beginning by summarizing the first three that involve him and his family.
The first case was when Erdogan received a $ 25 million oil tanker as a gift from Mubariz Mansimov, an Azerbaijani billionaire, in 2008. At the request of Erdogan, Mansimov later became a Turkish citizen and changed his surname to Gurbanoglu. .
The second case occurred in December 2013, when Erdogan and four of his ministers were involved in a multibillion-dollar corruption investigation. Faced with litigation, the four ministers resigned. Erdogan interfered in the trial, dismissed the lawsuit and fired the prosecutors and police who had exposed the corrupt practices of his ministers. The private telephone conversations between Erdogan and his son Bilal had been recorded, revealing their discussions about how to hide the hundreds of millions of dollars in cash they had received mysteriously.
The third case of corruption is the ongoing trial in New York City over a multi-million dollar plan to smuggle gold for oil from Turkey to Iran in violation of US sanctions against Iran. Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, pleaded guilty last week to seven counts, exposing the participation of a Turkish banker, Mehmet Hakan Atilla and seven other defendants, including Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, accused of receiving millions of dollars. of dollars in Zarrab's bribes in exchange for fixing the illegal scheme. Zarrab also implicated President Erdogan for having authorized illegal gold for the oil trade.
The fourth and final corruption scheme involves members of the Erdogan family who allegedly transferred $ 15 million to an offshore company called Bellway Limited in the tax haven of the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, in December 2011 and January of 2012. This accusation was made by the main opposition leader of the Republican People's Party (PKP) of Turkey, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The Isle of Man is an autonomous dependency of the British Crown on the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.
The President of the Kılıcdaroglu Party recently announced that a company was established on August 1, 2011 on the Isle of Man with a founding capital of one pound sterling. It revealed the bank statements and copies of the $ 15 million electronic transfers to the Bellway Limited company:
- On December 15, 2011, the brother-in-law of Erdogan Ziya İlgen transferred $ 2.5 million and $ 1.25 million on December 26, 2011.
- On December 15, 2011, the brother of Erdogan Mustafa transferred $ 2.5 million and $ 1.25 million on December 26, 2011.
- On December 27, 2011, Erdogan's father-in-law Osman Ketenci transferred $ 1.25 million , and $ 1 million on December 28, 2011.
- On December 27, 2011, Erdogan's former executive assistant Mustafa Gündogan transferred $ 1.25 million and $ 250,000 on December 28, 2011.
- On March 29, 2011 December 2011, Erdogan his son Ahmet Burak Erdogan transferred $ 1.45 million, and $ 2.3 million on January 4, 2012.
Kilicdaroglu filed a parliamentary motion requesting an investigation of the transfers. However, the majority dominated by the AK Party of Erdogan voted against the measure. When Kilicdaroglu was addressing Parliament about the accusations against Erdogan, Turkish state television cut off the live broadcast!
Turkish prosecutors announced last week that they are investigating the charges against Erdogan. However, as is widely known, no judge would dare to state that Erdogan is guilty of any crime, given that many judges are dismissed or imprisoned for not complying with the wishes of the Turkish president.
As expected, Erdogan was furious with the accusations against his family. He declared that he would resign his position if he is shown to have a bank account in a foreign country. Ahmet Ozel, a lawyer for President Erdogan, said the bank documents published by Kilicdaroglu were "false" and described the accusations as "lies". Erdogan threatened that Kilicdaroglu would "pay a price" and sued him for $ 500,000 for defamation. .
These scandals can have an adverse effect on the reelection of President Erdogan in 2019, assuming it would allow a fair election. We hope that President Erdogan will remain in power as long as he persists in undermining Turkey's reputation throughout the world.