On Thursday, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said the following about Russia’s allegations that Turkey and more specifically, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family, are involved in the trafficking of illegal ISIS crude:
“In the Cold War period there was a Soviet propaganda machine. Every day it created different lies. Firstly they would believe them and then expect the world to believe them. These were remembered as Pravda lies and nonsense. This was an old tradition but it has suddenly reared its head again. Nobody attaches any value to the lies of this Soviet-style propaganda machine.”
As we went on to note, Davutoglu’s assessment isn’t exactly correct. Quite a few people “attach value” to Moscow’s allegations, not the least of which are the authorities in Baghdad, from whom Turkey is effectively stealing not only by facilitating the trafficking of ISIS oil, but also by piping over 600,000 b/d from Kurdistan to Ceyhan.
In fact, Iraq is so agitated that they’re set to ask the Security Council to investigate the situation and brand anyone found to be involved “criminals.”
Of course the thing about being an autocrat – and that’s most certainly what Erdogan is despite the West’s ridiculous contention that Turkey is a democracy – is that you make a whole lot enemies in your own country and while you can suppress dissent with force, eventually it all catches up to you and between Russia’s accusations and opposition political parties still stinging from AKP’s move to nullify June’s election outcome by starting a civil war and calling for snap elections, Erdogan may be in trouble.
Underscoring that contention is CHP lawmaker Eren Erdem who says he, like Moscow, will soon provide proof of Erdogan’s role in the smuggling of Islamic State oil. “I have been able to establish that there is a very high probability that Berat Albayrak is linked to the supply of oil by the Daesh terrorists,” Erdem said at a press conference on Thursday (see more from Sputnik).
Berat Albayrak is Erodan’s son-in-law and is Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
Erdem isn’t the only person to mention Albayrak this week. Recall that in his opening remarks at the dramatic Russian MoD presentation on Wednesday Deputy Minister of Defence Anatoly Antonov said the following:
“No one in the West, I wonder, does not cause the issue that the son of the President of Turkey is the leader of one of the largest energy companies, and son-in-appointed Minister of Energy? What a brilliant family business!”
“There is one company, headquartered in Erbil, which in 2012 acquired oil tankers, and which is currently being bombarded by Russian aircraft,” Erdem said. “I am now studying this company’s records. It has partners in Turkey, and I am checking them for links to Albayrak.”
Note that this is entirely consistent with what we said last week, namely that in some cases, ISIS takes advantage of the Kurdish oil transport routes, connections, and infrastructure in Turkey. It will certianly be interesting to see if there’s a connection between Albayrak, the energy ministry, and Bilal Erdogan’s BMZ Group.
If you know anything about Erdogan, you know that he doesn’t take kindly to this kind of thing and as Erdem goes on to recount, he’s already been the subject of a smear campaign:
“Today, the Takvim newspaper called me an American puppet, an Israeli agent, a supporter of the [Kurdish] PKK, and the instigator of a coup…all in the same sentence. I am inclined to view this attack on me as an attempt to belittle my significance, to attack my reputation in the eyes in the public, given that my investigation is a real threat to the government. Such a sharply negative reaction suggests that my assumptions are fair, and I am moving in the right direction to find the truth.”
The lawmaker says that type of attack has “only convinced [him] further on the need to carry this investigation through to the end.”
In the meantime, we can only hope that, for the sake of exposing the truth, “the end” doesn’t end up being a Turkish jail cell, or worse for Erdem.
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