Turkish government votes down Paradise Papers investigation twice

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has voted down two parliamentary proposals to investigate links exposed in the Paradise Papers between relatives of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to businesses based in the tax haven of Malta.

The move comes despite Yıldırım having invited his critics to conduct “all the types of research and investigation” into his sons’ business activities following the leaks which revealed the offshore tax affairs of many of the world’s rich and powerful individuals and companies.

Members of parliament from both the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) condemned the blocking of an investigation into the matter.

“Our prime minister’s children are named in the Paradise Papers, which were published simultaneously across the whole world. Does this not make anyone uncomfortable?” CHP MP Engin Özkoç asked. “Let us protect the reputation of our prime minister, of his children and of Turkey.”

MHP deputy Erkan Akçay also called for the incident to be investigated by the Financial Crimes Research Council in order to prove there had been no wrongdoing.

A Turkish court censored a list of webpages containing media reports on the Paradise Papers on Saturday.