موج دوم فساد بزرگتر و پای پسر اردوغان در آن

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guld transport to iran

This Jan 19 file photo shows a plane that was allegedly carrying 1.5 tons of unregistered gold worth $65 million from Istanbul, revealed to be belonging Reza Zarrab. DHA photo

این عکس در نوزده ژانویه  از این هواپیما گرفته شده  و حدس زده میشود حامل یک تن و نیم طلا بوده است که متعلق به رضاضراب است

 بنا به گزارشها منتشر شده در رسانه های ترکیه و تا حدودی جهان و منطقه، موج دوم فساد که بلال اردوغان پسر رئیس جمهور طیب اردوغان هم پایش درآن گیر است، بزرگتر از موج اول می باشد. روسای پلیسهای جدیدن منصوب شده از سوی اردوغان، از دستگیری و بازداشت متهمین موج دوم که حکم  جلب آنها از سوی دادستانی  صادر و ابلاغ  گردیده  بود در واکنشی بی سابقه  یا حد اقل کم سابقه درتاریخ قضایی  از اجرای حکم سر پیچی کرده اند.

علاوه برگزارش تحلیلی مصطفی اکول در حریت امروز، گزارش زیر، گزارش جالب دیگری از حریت نیز هست که من آنرا هم ذیلا درج خواهم کرد، با عنوان”  طلا در مرکز این فساد و پول شویی ای که ترکیه را شوکه کرده است قرار دارد. این روزنامه  مینویسد طلا و صدور آن به ایران و رشوه های کلان روی صادرات و واردات آن به ایران و در این رابطه بهای گازصادراتی ایران به ترکیه بیش از پیش در مرکز ثقل این کلاف فسادی است  که هر دم حلقه ایی از آن باز میشود و حاکی از رشوه خواری کلانی است که انجام گرفته است.

من از همان روز نخست به تکرار نوشتم که پای ایران در این فساد برملا شده، بیش از آنچه بنظر میرسد گیر کرده است و هم اکنون هم من حدس میزنم پای بیت رهبری و نهاد های مالی زیر نظر او بیش از  خود دولت در این ماجرا گیر باشند و سکوت مقامات در این زمینه و سرپوش نهادن بر خبر ۴ سال پیش در مورد گرفتار شدن دو کامیون طلا و دلار به ارزش ۱۸٫۵ میلیلرد دلار در ترکیه نیز عللی جز این نمی تواند داشته باشد. چون با توجه به اینکه ایران تحریم است، توجیه نقل و انتقال فیزیکی این میزان طلا و دلار اگر سوء استفاده یا ارتباط نا گفتنی خاصی در میان نباشد برای مردم دشوار نیست. کما اینکه مقامات، براحتی از دور زدن تحریمها حرف میزنند. و اگر اصل خبر هم واقعی نبود باز باید دولت رسیدگی جدی میکرد و توضیح جدی میداد تا رفع سوء ظن شود.

 تا آنجا که به  موارد رشوه های کلان مربوط میشود، نباید فراموش کرد که خرید دولتمردان و نمایندگان پارلمانی و ارباب رسانه های دیگر کشورها؛ یکی از عمده ترین روشهای ارگانهای فعال در سیاست خارجی و سازمانهای اطلاعاتی کشورما برای جلب حمایت  و اعمال نفوذ در کشورهای دیگر  بوده و هست . ایران با رشوه پردازی، نوری المالکی را در عراق به قدرت رساند و با رشوه دادن از سقوط او در جریان باز خواست ها و رأی عدم اعتماد مجلس عراق علیه او چلو گیری کرد.

ولی پرسش در این رابطه اینست که در جریان مدیریت این رشوه پردازیها، خودِ امثال رضا ضرابها و بابک زنجانیها چقدر خورده اند؟ وسپردن این میزان از سرمایه ارزی مملکت بدست چنین افرادی؛ چه سرمایه بیت رهبری باشد، چه نهادی دیگر یا دولت چقدر با  اسلوب مملکت داری  امروزی که هیچ حتا با مملکت داری عهد فتحعلی شاهی هم مطابقت دارد؟ مملکتی که مدعی است؛  قانون دارد، مجلس دارد، بانک مرکزی و.. دارد.

متاسفانه  فعالان سیاسی، سایتهای منتقد دولت و حتی جریانات سبز توجه بسیار کمی به مسئله  آلودگی دولت و سایر نهادهای کشور ما   دراین فساد بزرگی که آشکار گشته میدهند و ما باید خبرهایمان را از منابع ترک بگیریم. و برای منهم بیش از اینکه مایه میگذارم مایه گذاری در این زمینه ممکن نیست و تأثیرِ بُرد  سایت منهم محدود است. مثلا ترجمه همین دو گزارش زیر در دیگر سایتهای پر بیننده میتوانست بسیار روشنگر باشد که ترجمه کامل آنها اولا ازعهده من به لحاظ  محدودیت وقتی خارج است و دوما مطمعنن اگر هم ترجمه کرده برای آنها ارسال کنم درج نمیکنند.

پس ار نگارش یاداشت فوق این کلیپ ویدویی بسیار دیدنی را  در همین زمینه از صدای آمریکا دیدم که در اینجا درج میکنم.

حریت جمعه ۲۸ دسامبر

MUSTAFA AKYOL

ا

What has happened in Turkey in the past 10 days is just mind-boggling.

First, on the morning of Dec. 17, an Istanbul prosecutor initiated a shocking investigation. Sons of three ministers, a bank manager, various politicians and businessmen were arrested on charges of widespread corruption. Some visual details, such as photos of huge stacks of cash money in private homes, were leaked to the press. Since four government ministers were explicitly accused, the media dubbed the investigation as “the biggest corruption case in Republican history.”

The government responded with a counter-attack. Erdoğan, his party and the pro-Erdoğan media defined the probe as a political conspiracy cooked up by “foreign powers,” especially Israel and its U.S. lobby. But they also blamed the Fethullah Gülen Movement, which is believed to be behind certain elements within the police and the judiciary. Soon, the government also initiated a very extensive purge within the police, and other state institutions, against “Gülenists,” real or perceived.

On Wed, Dec. 25, two of the accused ministers resigned. The third one, Erdoğan Bayraktar, did something less unexpected. On live TV, he declared that he is innocent yet still he will resign from the cabinet and the parliament. “But I believe Prime Minister Erdoğan should resign, too,” he shockingly said, “for he is the one who ordered all the construction projects that are questioned by the probe.”

This instantly made Bayraktar a “traitor” within AKP eyes, but it also confirmed what people have been whispering since the corruption probe began: “The real target is Erdoğan.”

Moreover, the press reported early this week that a “second wave” of arrests and interrogations were to be ordered by the corruption probe prosecutors. And one of the names in this second list of the accused was Bilal Erdoğan: Tayyip Erdoğan’s son!

But this “second wave” was stalled because the new police that the AKP government appointed resisted the prosecutors’ order to move on, in a clear breach of law. It is like a general ordering his troops to move with no answer in return.

Meanwhile, a war of declarations began. One of the prosecutors who was suspended from the corruption probe spoke against the government and accused it of “intervention in the judicial process.”

His boss, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, rather criticized the hidden nature of the probe. Then the Board of Judges and Prosecutors published a declaration, which, again, blamed the government for trespassing on the judiciary. The government responded with an angry statement which likened the board to the overbearing generals of the past.

It is all very complicated and jaw-dropping, but one argument seems convincing: Within the judiciary and the police, there is a concerted effort aimed at “getting” Erdoğan — by tarnishing his image, at least, or perhaps even forcing him to resign.

The pro-Erdoğan camp depicts this effort as a foreign conspiracy to “halt Turkey’s progress,” which looks to me more like propaganda than fact. But they might be onto something more real however when they speak of a “new tutelage” over elected politicians.

December/28/2013

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Gold at center of corruption, money laundering

allegations hitting Turkish gov’t

 

Gold has been the focus of corruption allegations that are hitting the Turkish government, as some of the suspects of the case are alleged of being involved in Turkey’s gold-for-gas trade with Iran and money laundering through gold deposis

 

MUSTAFA SÖNMEZ – mustafasnmz@hotmail.com

Corruption operations that topped Turkey’s agenda and caused ministers’ resignations are continuing with focus on gold.

The operations, encompassing three different investigations, including land planning frauds, the exploitation of public assets and else, but for now the most striking allegations that horrified the public are the ones including “gold,” briberies paid over it and minister’s sons accused of receiving those briberies…

Gold has become the main subject of “money laundering” claims since recognizing Turkey’s bullion gold trade’s boom since 2011. Turkey exported $1.5-billion worth of gold, while importing $6.2-billion gold in 2011, but the export explosion came in 2012 and reached $13.3 billion in one year. The country’s import was $7.6 billion that year. In 2013, import came to the forefront again and reached $13 billion. What was happening, why did gold trade burst?

Turkey could not pay for the natural gas it buys from Iran in foreign exchange due to U.S. sanctions on banks. So, how could it return the money? A way to bypass sanctions was found: Iran was going to be paid in Turkish Liras and then the country would use those liras to buy gold in Turkey, which would look like Turkey is exporting gold to Iran. Since there are not billions of dollars’ worth of gold bullion in Turkey, it needed to be imported from Switzerland. An intermediate station was also found to avoid the U.S.’ rage and that was the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A part of the gold looked like it was exported from Turkey to the UAE and was transferred to Iran’s accounts. In the same way, gold was imported from the UAE.

HDN

Overall, Turkey’s gold exports within the past four years, between 2010 and 2013, have amounted to $27 billion and

its imports have appeared to be $18 billion. Some $8 billion of the exports seem to be exported to Iran, while exports to the UAE also constitutes $6 billion, which can also be regarded as going to Iran.
Therefore, $15 billion of

Iranian natural gas was paid for in this way. Most of this gold was procured by Switzerland, while a small part has been brought by Dubai.

Many argued this payment system’s being recorded as “export,” caused export figures to falsely rise; the country’s current account deficit looks smaller than it actually is and national income is exaggerated. Moreover, some analysts also warned the transfer method may cause headaches for Halkbank and others involved in the scheme.

Question and answer

I dealt with this subject in about 10 of my columns in 2012. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Umut Oran filed a parliamentary question in July 2012 referring to my column to ask Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan about the issue.

Babacan sought to clear the issue on November 2012 with this answer; “We put the money for Iranian gas into Iran’s bank account in Turkey in liras. However, it is impossible for Iran to bring that money to its country in the dollar because of international restrictions and U.S. sanctions. Therefore, Iran withdraws that money from its account and buys gold from the market to bring it back. I don’t how it does so, but this is how it works.”

The claims are saying Reza Zarrab and his team were one of the mediators that used to do what Babacan said he didn’t know and they were earning a great amount of money.

Gold deposits

According to claims, Zarrab needed some convenience support in the transaction of transferring the gold bullion with planes and couriers. Mediator bank Halkbank’s General Manager Süleymen Arslan, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and his son, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and his son and EU Minister Egemen Bağış are claimed to be the ones helping him with citizenship, residence and business permits in return for bribery.

The Turkish banks’ gold deposit practices, which are presented with an innocent reason of inclusion of under-the-pillow gold into market through economy management, have also been regarded as being a part of these money laundering claims.

It was said there were approximately 5,000 tons of gold with a value of $300 billion under pillows and they were aimed to be drawn to recoded finance.

Banks were allowed to keep 30 percent of the reserves they have to allocate for the Central Bank in gold, which was alluring for them.

HDN

However, the risk of this gold to be brought by citizens to be used for money laundering wasn’t taken care of much and banks kicked-off the gold rush.

The Total value of gold deposits was almost 2 billion liras in 2010 reached 21.8 billion liras by of the end of October. This means more than a 990 percent increase! Three years ago, only 0.3 percent of the bank deposits were in gold, but in October the ratio was 2.5 percent.

Not only ordinary people, many companies engaged in the gold business and foreign investors are among the banks’ gold deposit customers. Gold accounts are usually non-interest accounts. The gold owner opens an account and the bank sends the gold jewelry to a refinery to transform it into gold bars, which can be withdrawn by the customer if they want. The refining cost is paid by the banks, but it earns commission. What is the Central Bank’s benefit here? This way, its reserves swell so $21 billion of foreign exchange reserves that looked like $135 billion in November was gold at hand. Many international money launderers, like Zarrab, are claimed to be using these gold deposit accounts. Some mind-blowing numbers, like 85 billion euros, are voiced for the amount of laundered money and banks other than Halkbank are accused of being involved as well.

FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) describes Turkey as one of the countries that have flaws in its fight against Money Laundering Legislation, along with Indonesia, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen Ethiopia, Ecuador and Nigeria.

Is it possible the government’s attempts to control the probe through changing investigation officials and regulation amendments to push Turkey from the gray zone to the black zone on the OECD level? Would Turkish banks face international blockage? It was clear that such a measure would create a great hole in a Turkish economy that is dependent on foreign capital inflow. Claims of Turkey’s financing and supporting al-Qaida-like organizations in Syria could be added and the Justice and Development (AKP) leadership could face serious accusations. It wasn’t coincidence the U.S. Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen met with banks in Istanbul and discuss Halkbank.

December/28/2013

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The end of ‘unshakable’ AKP myth

CİHAN ÇELİK

cihan.celik@hdn.com.tr

For the last couple of days, the codes and rules, which have been turned upside-down by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), have become hard to keep up with since the AKP was forced to fight a self-created “monster.”

The AKP, which has been facing the direst showdown over a corruption scandal with its ally-turned-foe the Hizmet (Service) movement, led by self-exiled Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, has found itself in a fight with not only Gülen’s “state within a state” but also itself, as well.

It had already lost four lawmakers, two of whom were also former ministers in AKP governments, since the launch of the graft case and moreover, the rules it brought to the game have become its main source of troubles in perhaps its survival fight. The ongoing judiciary deadlock over the corruption investigation into high-profile names, including sons of three former ministers, was the direct result of AKP efforts to alter the rules.

Even the Cabinet reshuffle, dubbed as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “War Cabinet,” could hardly save his AKP government. The corruption disaster unleashed by the Hizmet Movement has already taken down the myth that the AKP is “unshakable” or even “challengeable.” This time, the AKP government has been hit hard by its own bullets.

Erdoğan’s and his party’s efforts to avert the Hizmet campaign, such as a purge on Gülenist police chiefs and other security members, would only freeze the crisis but not for a long time. Surely not his style but now the prime minister needs to see that his government would no longer survive if he fails to accept a defeat for good.

The Cabinet reshuffle, in which four ministers under suspicion of being involved in corruption scandals, appeared as a slim signal since up until now the prime minister has always embraced his ministers or officials, who are under fire. Alas, the Cabinet move was yet another call for a battle with the Hizmet, which aimed for a second salvo on the government with the fresh but blocked wave of raids on new high-profile names, many of whom were reportedly businessmen close to the AKP.

The Hizmet-AKP fight has created a new dimension in the polarization of Turkey – a country that has been long divided mainly due to the AKP undertakings. The new polarization has appeared riskier for the AKP, which is in return trying to consolidate its power with desperate efforts, like pro-government rallies or greetings of the PM, or maybe with a call for early election.

The campaign of pro-government rallies was first created during the heights of anti-government Gezi protests in early summer and managed to give Erdoğan a relief of breath for some time. When the protests started to ebb, the prime minister was more defiant and harsh on the protests. But in his fight with the Hizmet, he would need more than a PR campaign. The option for a snap election call seems the wisest option for his party but stakes are high over there too if he fails in his traditional “victimization” rhetoric, which worked well in many previous crisis, to convince his electorate.

The unusual silence from Turkey’s Western allies has also been interesting so far but it might be about the premier’s claim that the scandal was a plot against his ruling with both local and international parties. But it might also mean that the AKP has started to lose its charm abroad since Erdoğan has already tarnished his reputation in the eyes of its EU and U.S. allies, particularly during the Gezi protests. Along with the Hizmet blow, this might be the last act in a long-running saga, in which both the group and AKP will fight until one ends the other.

December/28/2013

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A new corruption row before the first one is over

MURAT YETKİN

murat.yetki

A cabinet reshuffle of 10 ministers was already traumatic for the political timeline of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, but it seems it is not the end of problems started with the big corruption probe in which the names of four of his former ministers were involved.

As the new names in the Turkish cabinet started to leak to the media even before Erdoğan’s meeting with President Abdullah Gül on December 25 evening, the Turkish media was quick to label it as a “War cabinet”.

This was partly because of what Erdoğan had said in the last two days. First, on his way back from Pakistan on December 24, he told reporters on board the plane that those who carry out the corruption probe were actually targeting him and “trying in vain” to hit him over his son Bilal. On another occasion, Erdoğan, in his address to his Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) executives earlier in the day, said that the corruption probe was manipulated by those who were jealous of Turkey’s rising star in the fields of economy, diplomacy and others, so his struggle against those was like a “Second war of independence.”

The second reason for being labeled as a ’War cabinet’ is because of some names he included in the cabinet reshuffle. Erdoğan appointed his undersecretary Efkan Ala as the new Interior Minister to replace Muammer Güler, whose name is involved in the big corruption probe which broke 10 days ago.

To appoint ministers from outside the Parliament is rare in Turkey; there are examples of Kemal Derviş in 2001 and Ahmet Davutoğlu in 2009. Ala is Turkey’s top bureaucrat and he is known to be a hundred percent loyal to Erdoğan. Emrullah İşler, an Arabist and theologist is appointed as the new Deputy Prime Minister; he has worked in Erdoğan’s inner cabinet for years away from public eyes as an advisor before being elected as an MP. Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the new Sports minister has worked as his personal translator of Erdoğan in many top secret meetings and telephone conversations. His father Sinan has worked as Erdoğan’s personal physician for years. Kılıç is now an MP and his loyalty is to Erdoğan more than AK Parti. The fourth of this team of fighters is former Deputy Prime Minister and new Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

The first “fight” broke on the first day of the re-composed government, on December 26. A day before an Istanbul prosecutor, Muammer Akkaş had applied to the police headquarters with the demand of starting another corruption probe in which the names of a number of businessman, politicians, NGOs and in that framework, Bilal Erdoğan’s were allegedly involved. Apparently that was the reason of PM Erdoğan’s fury. The Istanbul police, which had all its department chiefs removed by the government the last week because of not informing the former Interior Minister (whose son was arrested for bribery) in time, did nothing that day, which was quite unusual. In the morning of December 25, Chief Prosecutor of Istanbul Turan Çolakkadı announced that the case was taken from Akkaş. In the afternoon of the same day Akkaş made a written statement saying that the case was taken from his hands without any reason and in the meantime the opportunity was given the accusers to destroy potential evidences by leaking the story to the media, personally blaming the governor, new police chief and chief prosecutor of Istanbul for that. He also claimed that, the act was an “open intervention to and pressure on the judiciary.”

“Who do you want to fight against” asked Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP;”Is it the state of law?”)

Being far away from settling the first row on corruption allegations, Turkey is now facing another one bringing the government at odds with the judiciary and the police, which are seemingly divided among themselves already.

December/27/2013

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