A new recording of a phone call between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan and his son Bilal has been leaked last night.
In the alleged recording, Erdoğan and his son are discussing the amount of the bribe to be taken from a businessman named Sıtkı Ayan. Erdoğan finds the offered 10 million dollars insufficient, and instructs his son not to accept unless Ayan provides the amount he promised.
Sıtkı Ayan is the owner of SOM Petrol, a London-based corporation that owns oil and gas wells in various countries and turns over billions of dollars every year. Turang Transit Transportation, also owned by Mr. Ayan, was awarded the government contract to build a $11.5 billion pipeline to transport natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan to Europe. The investment was subsidised by the government, and the corporation was held exempt from VAT and various other taxes and duties.
According to the whistleblowers who leaked the call, Mr. Ayan pays regular bribes to Prime Minister Erdoğan, just like the “other businessmen”.
Bilal Erdoğan: Mr. Sıtkı came yesterday, saying he couldn’t do the transfer properly, that he currently has about 10 or so (million dollars), that he can give it whenever we want…
Tayyip Erdoğan: No no, don’t you take it.
Bilal Erdoğan: No I won’t, but I don’t know what we’ll do now.
Tayyip Erdoğan: No, don’t take it. If he’s going to bring what he promised, then let him bring it. If not, then no need. Others can bring it, so why can’t he, huh? What do they think is? But they are falling now, they’ll fall on our laps, don’t you worry.
Bilal Erdoğan: OK, daddy.
Click here to listen to the recording (in Turkish):