Jul 18 2018

Court fines Turkish opposition leader $74,000 over offshore account claims

A Turkish court has ordered opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to pay 359,000 lira ($74,000) in damages to members of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family for saying they had sent millions of dollars to companies based on the Isle of Man, secularist newspaper Sözcü said.

The money, transferred in 2011 and 2012 by Erdoğan’s brother and brother-in law, totalled $5 million, Kılıçdaroğlu told members of his party in a speech.

The president and his family had opened a 1.5-million lira claim for damages against Kılıçdaroğlu in response.

The prosecution’s lawyers said the claims were unfounded, while Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer Celal Çelik presented evidence he said proved Kılıçdaroğlu was telling the truth.

When he lost the case, Çelik threw off his legal gown and left the court in disgust, saying that it would go down in history for its unlawfulness.

The court awarded Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 150,000 lira, Özdemir Bayraktar 60,000 lira, Esra Albayrak 22,000 lira, Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar 22,000 lira, Necmeddin Bilal Erdoğan 20,000 lira, Ahmet Burak Erdoğan 16,000 lira, Ziya İlgen 14,000 lira, Osman Ketenci 13,000 lira, and Orhan Uzuner 13,000 lira in compensation.