A local court has ordered Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), to pay President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family a total of TL 190,000 ($7,301) in damages for his allegations that they had secretly transferred money to an offshore company based in the Isle of Man, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.
According to Anadolu, a decision in a retrial heard by the Anadolu 15th Criminal Court of First Instance ordered Kılıçdaroğlu to pay TL 190,000 ($7,301) in total in damages relating to the allegations.
The CHP leader alleged in a parliamentary group meeting in November 2017 that in 2011 a group including Erdoğan and his relatives had made transfers amounting to $18 million to an offshore company based in the Isle of Man, a tax haven. He produced SWIFT codes and bank receipts to back up his claims.
The allegations resulted in Kılıçdaroğlu being sued for damages by Erdoğan and his close circle.
A court decision in November 2019 ordering the payment of TL 190,000 ($7,301) in damages was overturned by Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals, which sent the case back to the local court for retrial.
The case was heard again on Thursday, and the Anadolu 15th Criminal Court of First Instance again ordered Kılıçdaroğlu to pay TL 150,000 to Erdoğan; TL 20,000 to his brother Mustafa Erdoğan; and TL 20,000 to his uncle Ziya İlgen.
The court ruled that a total of TL 190,000 ($7,301) in damages, accruing from the date of the “wrongful act,” which is Dec. 19, 2017, with interest, should be collected from Kılıçdaroğlu and awarded to the plaintiffs, Anadolu said.
The Turkish president, whose Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been ruling Turkey as a single-party government since 2002, is frequently accused of wasting taxpayers’ money and making his cronies rich through the use of public resources at a time of increased poverty among Turks.
Critics also accuse Erdoğan of establishing one-man rule in the country by jailing his critics and silencing opposition media.