October 27, 2016

Erdogan’s son-in-law ‘linked to Isis oil trade’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a meeting at the presidential palace on November 26, 2015 AFP/Getty Images

independent|Middle East|

Russia has accused Turkish President Erdogan of running a “family business” after his son-in-law has allegedly been linked to smuggling Isis oil.

It has been claimed by an opposing MP that “there is a very high probability” that Berat Albayrak, who was appointed energy minister earlier thing month, is linked to the supply of oil by the terrorist group.

Eren Erdem who made the allegation is an MP from the opposing People’s Republican Party. He has said he is investigating an Arbil-based oil company, which he believes Mr Albayrak is linked to.

Mr Albayrak, who married the president’s daughter Esra in 2004, denies the claims.

However, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s deputy defence minister singled him and Bilal Erdogan, the president’s son, out at a press conference.

Mr Antonov said: “In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president’s son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvellous family business!”

The Kremlin have published satellite images, which it claims shows trucks carrying Isis oil enter Turkey. However, there is no hard evidence that this is directly linked to the president and his family.

Moscow made the claims after Turkish fighters shot down a Russian bomber on November 2.

Mr Albayrak’s lawyer, Ahmet Ozel said: “The allegations are totally false and wrongly attributed.”

The Turkish president has dismissed these claims as slander, adding that he would resign if the allegations were true.

The Times reported that three years later Mr Albayrak became the chief executive of Calik Holding, a government friendly conglomeratre with an interest in energy and oil.

In 2013 he left Calik and went into politics where he was elected as AKP deputy in June and then energy minister.

The Times also reported that in a book published this year by journalist Tolga Tanis, he claimed that Mr Albayrak managed Powertrans, a company that trucks oil from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

He also said that the son-in-law was one of dozens of Mr Erdogan’s inner circle who were targeted as part of a thwarted corruption investigation in December 2013, on allegations of tender-rigging and bribery.

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