Nov 13 2017

Albayrak gets Paradise Papers censored

A Turkish court has blocked access to a string of news articles linking Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son-in-law, to offshore tax schemes revealed by the so-called Paradise Papers leaks.

Legal activist Yaman Akdeniz published a list of the banned content on Twitter:

The tweet reads:

“Paradise didn't last for long: The first access ban to #ParadisePapers was taken by the Istanbul 12th Magistracy and many news articles were censored. Reporting facts by the press is considered a violation of 'personal rights.' ”

The list, as shared by Akdeniz, includes only news articles relating to Albayrak and his media boss brother. The articles said both had set up shell companies in Sweden and Malta to minimise the taxes their companies paid in Turkey.

Albayrak's lawyers filed a legal complaint to a judge, saying their client's rights had been violated by the reports.

According to research by The Black Sea online magazine, Çalık Holding, where Albayrak was CEO from 2007 till 2013, abandoned the offshore tax scheme and successfully lobbied the government for a tax amnesty in 2016.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, whose sons were revealed to set up companies in Malta, denied any wrongdoing and said his sons can be investigated; but his party voted down a parliamentary inquiry into the Paradise Papers. He and his sons also sued Cumhuriyet newspaper which originally broke the news.