Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Turkey said on Friday that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tranferred funds to the United States through two foundations for projects to build a giant business centre in Manhattan, New York City, and to buy a farm estate.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a tweet:
“They claim that they’ve been building a residence for students. Where are they building that giant residence? In Manhattan. In the most high end finance centre of the US. When the construction of that lush residence is finished, who will be its owner? Turkey, or some foundation? Erdoğan, who is the owner of that foundation?”
In another tweet, Kılıçdaroğlu said:
“The same foundation bought a farm estate. Erdoğan, why did they buy it? I was waiting for you to file a lawsuit. I will ask in court from which financial sources these funds have been provided by the foundations that serve as your money-laundering fronts.”
Turkish president Erdoğan filed a lawsuit on Friday against Kılıçdaroğlu, who claimed earlier on Tuesday that funds amounting to one billion in Turkish currency were transferred to the US through two foundations: TÜRGEV and Ensar. While the mentioned amount is an equivalent of around 61 million US dollars in most recent terms, the Turkish currency depreciated immensely within the last year, the value of dollar against Turkish Lira roughly doubling since the end of May 2021.
TÜRGEV was founded in 1996 under the initiative of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Its board members include Erdoğan’s daughter Esra Albayrak and son Bilal Erdoğan.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that the fund transfers and investments in the US signified preparations by Erdoğan to flee Turkey in the case of losing power in the coming general elections in June 2023.
He also claimed in a tweet on Friday that while the fund transfers were initiated by Bilal Erdoğan in Turkey, Esra Albayrak was on the receiving end in the US. He also named a third foundation in the operations.
“The siblings are carrying out the operations, transferring funds. TURKEN is a front foundation. It enables transfer of wealth and people to the US.”