Prosecutor confirms ‘tax-haven money traffic’ of Erdoğan’s close circle

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Documents which allegedly reveal that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close circle received about $15 million from an offshore company called Bellway Limited on the Isle of Man were confirmed by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, but the prosecutor declined to investigate, Cumhuriyet reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the prosecutor’s office confirmed that $15 million was sent to the private accounts of five people in the president’s close circle but concluded it was not a transfer of illicit money, without mentioning from which business activities the money was derived.

The prosecutor’s office also noted that it is within the authority of the tax office if tax evasion is involved but also underlined that tax evasion cases can legally be traced back only five years.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during a party meeting in Parliament on Nov. 28 revealed a money transfer of $15 million between Bellway and Erdoğan’s brother-in-law, brother, son, son’s father-in-law and his former executive assistant between December 2011 and January 2012.

CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Özgür Özel on Dec. 4 submitted documents to the prosecutor’s office.

Claiming that the documents were fake, President Erdoğan and members of his family filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1.5 million ($380,000) in damages for creating hatred in society against the president and his family.

On Nov. 24 Erdoğan filed another lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1.5 million in non-pecuniary damages due to a speech on Nov. 21.

In response to claims leveled by Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy Metin Külünk said Kılıçdaroğlu has become a national security issue.

“Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the CHP have become a national security issue for Turkey. It must be evaluated at a National Security Council meeting,” Külünk tweeted.

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