Nov 19 2017

Pro-Erdoğan columnist wants ‘foreign agent’ registration for Turkish newspapers, NGOs

Turkish NGOs which receive funding from EU countries, and journalists who work on foreign tax documents should register as a ‘foreign agent’, pro-Erdoğan newspaper Sabah’s columnist Hilal Kaplan suggested.

The left-leaning newspaper Cumhuriyet, which recently reported on Paradise Papers and uncovered Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s sons’ shell companies in tax haven Malta, targeted “people who has no association with Turkey’s tax interests” she claimed.

Teyit.org, an internationally recognised verification platform from Turkey which displays financial reports on its website, was “revealed to receive funding from UK”, Sabah columnist argued.

Look at United States and Russia, the former has a Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) since 1938 and just required RT to register, now Russia is following suit. Why aren’t we doing the same, Kaplan asked.

Hilal Kaplan was on the front pages in May 2016 for allegedly receiving money from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, to hire a Bosphorus mansion and plot against Erdoğan’s political rivals.

"Pelikan Mansion" front page of Sözcü newspaper, 9 May 2016. / T24
"Pelikan Mansion", front page of Sözcü newspaper, 9 May 2016. / T24

One of her columns that accused Hillary Clinton of murder before the 2016 U.S. presidential elections was falsified by Teyit.org.