A former confidant of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has revealed the details of a corruption scheme involving $3.5 billion worth of EU funds allocated for the improvement of agriculture, implicating the then-minister of agriculture in the scandal, in a video released by journalist Cevheri Güven on Saturday.
Ali Yeşildağ is a former associate of Erdoğan and a member of the influential Yeşildağ family who detailed in a previous video on Friday how Erdoğan pocketed $1 billion in a 2007 tender.
In the second installment of an expected seven-video series, Yeşildağ claimed Mehdi Eker, Turkey’s minister of agriculture from 2002 to 2013, used his position to manipulate tenders, granting favors to companies he had a partnership with and abusing his power in violation of public trust.
In the latest video Yeşildağ alleges that Eker, along with several other associates, exploited funds worth $3.5 billion provided by the European Union to develop Turkey’s agricultural infrastructure. Yeşildağ claims that Eker and his associates formed partnerships with companies bidding on ministerial tenders funded by the EU, ensuring that they would receive a 50 percent share of the profits.
According to Yeşildağ, these partnerships led to inflated bids, with profit margins as high as 60 and 70 percent. He alleges that the corruption extended to imports of meat and pulses, resulting in higher prices for Turkish consumers. Yeşildağ also claims that the corruption continued even after Eker left office, with the system now controlled by then-prime minister and current president Erdoğan.
Yeşildağ asserts that he is only sharing information about instances of corruption in which he was personally involved or has firsthand knowledge. He has promised to reveal more in future videos, stating that “you will vomit in the future.”
The allegations have not yet been independently verified, and the parties involved have not made any public statements in response to the claims. The story continues to develop as the public awaits further revelations from Yeşildağ.