The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned Halil Danışmaz, the executive director of the Turkish Heritage Organization, a pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) think tank in the US, the hacked emails of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and current Energy Minister Berat Albayrak show.
Danışmaz, whose correspondence with Albayrak through emails revealed Turkey’s support for the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria by keeping routes of arms supplies to militants through the border open, was questioned over allegations of spying on behalf of the Turkish government in the US.
Along with him, İbrahim Uyar, member of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), Murat Güzel, Mustafa Tuncer and Emre Eren were also questioned by the FBI over the same allegations.
“Hacked emails demonstrate that @TurkHeritage is working on behalf of the Turkish presidency. Isn’t that a violation of its 501(c)3 status?” Middle East analyst Steven Cook tweeted on Tuesday.
Turkish Marxist hacker group RedHack seized the email account of Energy Minister Albayrak and began to disclose the contents after its demand for the release of two socialist writers who are currently in jail was ignored by authorities.
CORRECTION: The headline of a story titled “Leaked email: FBI questioned pro-AKP figure over arms supply to ISIL,” published September 28, 2016, was incorrect. The FBI investigated Danışmaz and his staff over alleged spying for Turkey. We regret any confusion this may have caused.