Turkey's AKP votes down Paradise Papers investigation

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voted down a parliamentary motion to investigate revelations in recent leaks of offshore financial dealings by high level officials, including the energy minister and son-in-law to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Berat Albayrak, and the sons of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Mithat Sancar, a member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said the documents – known in the press as the Paradise papers – revealed that Yıldırım's sons had registered businesses on Malta, a choice he said was for the purpose of avoiding Turkish taxes.

Sancar asked:

What amount of tax would Prime Minister Yıldırım's sons have paid in Turkey if they had conducted business through Turkish companies? How much has Turkey lost, and how much did they profit by moving their operations to Malta?

AKP parliamentarian Mehmet Şükrü Erdinç said his party provided investment in the people and stood against corruption.

Erdinç said: 

What we are witnessing today is a perception operation against the people. It is cheap politics to draw our prime minister into a perception operation. He is someone who led the people on July 15 (the failed coup attempt), has struggled for his people; he is a leading actor in the fight against corruption.

The HDP and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), plan to submit another motion on the same subject.

Yıldırım has said his sons do not have immunity and therefore can be investigated.