There is a great deal of chatter on the Internet today about an anchor who appears in blackface in the coverage of President Obama’s trip to Turkey. The rough translation from the appearance is “Welcome, Mr. Obama. You took our hearts with your hospitality. We appreciate your kindness. We will do whatever America asks of us, as friends. Now, we ask the same of you.”
There may be something lost in translation here. Some have stated that this is an attempt at humor or a spoof. Others have argued that it was meant as a sign of respect.
It is possible that the Turkish media does not realize how insulting such an appearance would be, though a simple google search would reveal the cultural meaning of blackface appearances in the United States.
For the video, click here.
26 thoughts on “Lost in Translation: Turkish Anchor Appears in Blackface on Air in Coverage of President Obama”
(The information was gathered from the books written by Mehmet Boluk who published three books and investigated AKP fraud and corruptions and was killed in a shady traffic collision in Ukraine on July 12, 2007.)
Criminal Record for Erdogan’s term at Istanbul Municipality
1- Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of first instance (neglect of duty) (suspended 4616 times)
2- 4th Criminal court of first Instance. AKA Billboard case accused of 3 separate bid-rigging along with Ali Mufit Gurtuna and 17 other municipal officers. (merged at 4th High Criminal Court)
3- 5th Criminal court of first Instance, misconduct (suspended 4616 times)
4- 6th Criminal court of First Instance, one case (suspended 4616 times)
5- 7th Criminal Court of First Instance, on the forcibly eviction of the President of Darulaceze (Hospice) Foundation by the police, neglect of duty by acting against court’s decision, he was sentenced to prison for 10 months which was converted to a fine (suspended 4616 times)
6- 7th Criminal Court of First Instance, on the bid-rigging for transportation of municipality personnel auction (merged at 4th High Criminal Court)
7- 9th Criminal Court of First Instance, neglect of duty (suspended 4616 times)
8- 13th Criminal Court of First Instance, insulting the judges by commenting on his sentence for reading a poem by saying “this decision is a tragedy, a disgrace for our legal history” (pending in the Assembly) (suspended 4616 times)
9-11th Criminal Court of First Instance, misconduct along with Ali Mufit Gurtuna (4616)
10- 3th Criminal Court of First Instance, on heavy opposition to Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Law No. 2863 (4616)
11- 4th Criminal Court of First Instance, bid-rigging case together with 58 other municipal officers pending in the assembly
12-Two lawsuits filed separately: one at 10th Criminal Court of First Instance in 2005, the other at 1st Criminal Court of Peace in 2006
13-Eyup Criminal Court, bid-rigging for mosquito abatement in Halic and for Gungoren town hall construction (pending in the assembly)
14-Eyup Criminal Court, bid-rigging for facility constructions, meter reading and advertisements for IGDAS (istanbul gas distribution corp)
15- Uskudar 2. Criminal Court, Akbil case including 37 defendants (pending in the assembly)
16- Uskudar Civil Court, sentenced to pay 2 billion Turkish Liras for insulting the deceased former Finance Minister Vural Arikan by calling him ‘drunk’
17-A lawsuit for neglect of duty and misconduct issued because of an Italian firm’s complaints along with 11 other defendants.
18-Kartal 2nd Criminal Court of Peace, sentenced to a final 10-month prison on charges of building illegal villa in a forest site (first the sentence converted to a fine then erased from criminal record)
Erdogan and AKP Frauds
1. Billboard Case
Fraud about the auctions for renting billboards located in Istanbul’s main arteries that are favored by major advertising companies.
Biggest tactic of Erdogan in auctions is to give them first to municipal companies (aka BITs), then transferring them to his supporting people or companies. He did the same in Billboard auction. Billboards that are national and international advertising agencies’ most favorite, were first rented to the municipal company KULTUR AS (Culture Inc), then transferred to INTERPAN, a company run by a religious sect named Naqshbandi at a very low annual price as 30 billion TL.
A lawsuit was issued in July 2002 on the grounds of corruption in Billboard auctions at Istanbul Criminal Court. Erdogan, Ali Mufit Gurtuna and 25 other municipal managers (a part of them are now AKP members of the parliament) as defendants on this trial for corruption. The defendants also asked to meet the municipality’s loss of $ 100 million. The course of the case is unknown.
2. Tree Fraud
Fraud about the auctions for purchase and planting of trees in Istanbul.
“Two million trees” campaign was Erdogan’s one of the most ambitious projects. But like in his every project, municipal companies are used and the people of Istanbul are robbed. Tree purchase, planting and maintenance work was first given to the municipal company ISTAC. ISTAC subcontracted it to another municipal company called AGAC AS (TREE INC.) and AGAC AS subtracted it to other politically supporting people and companies.
Trees were imported from Italy at a multiple times higher rate than trees available in Turkey which caused loss of trillions of TL worth in foreign exchange. Thousand of trees were imported knowing that they were not suitable for Istanbul’s climate. And by Erdogan’s order, they were removed at one midnight after all of them died. After the investigations, Erdogan was detected guilty of ‘misusing his authority’, but the case was dismissed after a five-year statute of limitations.
3. Transportation of the Personnel Fraud
Fraud about the auctions for providing transportation for Istanbul municipality and its affiliates’ staff. Providing this service was given to a close friend-owned company named Albayraklar.
The bids were all framed-up and only couple of companies with close contacts with Erdogan were invited, in some, the only company invited was Albayraklar. These auctions were given to Albayraklar with ridiculously low discounts at a rate of 2-3% and they were included in prosecutors’ indictment and inspectors’ reports among other criminal activities such as fake car licensing.
Despite the fact that Erdogan got away with a lot of these fraud cases because of five-year statute of limitations, he is still in trial for ‘bid-rigging’ about two auctions put out in 1998 at Istanbul 7. Court of First Instance.
Speaking of Albayraklar, here is an article published in Cumhuriyet newspaper, no comments were added, maybe they would help us understand Albayrak-Erdogan relationship better:
Favorite Privatization Company Albayraklar
Albayraklar became famous for the bids they got when Erdogan was Mayor of Istanbul and they become indispensable for privatizations after AKP’s rise to power. 11 people including Albayraklar’s head of Board of the Director, Mustafa Albayrak and his brothers were sentenced for rigging bids put out by Municipality. Albayraklar was banned to enter the auctions for 1 year. However, these sentences were suspended.
Albayrak brothers started the company in 1980 under the leadership of Mustafa Albayrak by running mini-buses and buses in Istanbul. Providing only bus service till 1994, Albayraklar started to prosper after Erdogan became Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Area. First auction they got was for transportation of municipality personnel, then they start winning other auctions for garbage disposal, construction and subway projects.
Ministry of Interior appointed Ministry’s Chief of Inspector Board to investigate the allegations of bid-rigging under Clean City Operation. After months of investigations, the investigators reported that they found violations in bids, then the Istanbul State Security Court Prosecutor General’s Office launched an investigation. Istanbul State Security Court ordered Organized and Financial Branch Directorates to make an operation against Albayraklar.
Nearly 100 people, including Chairman of the Board of Albayraklar, Mustafa Albayrak, Erdogan’s advisors and some of the AKP deputies in the Assembly, were detained.
After completing the investigation, Istanbul Public prosecutors sued 70 defendants, among them are Erolcan Ozkan, Rasim Isıkaltın, Hüseyin Yildiz, Mustafa Albayrak, General Director of ISKI (Istanbul Water Company) Veysel Eroglu and Erdogan’s advisor Necmi Kadıoglu. They were sued for charges of “organized criminal activity”, “embazzlement” and “fraud”.
Requesting sentences ranging from 3 to 75 years of heavy imprisonment, the indictment stated that the defendants involved in organized criminal activity to make Erdogan ‘the future Prime Minister’. It is also stated that bids were rigged and agreements were prepared in accordance with the interests of Albayraklar. “A giant organization was created for criminal activity for a political and social cause” was stated as well.
Later, Supreme Court sent the file on Erdogan and Ali Mufit Gurtuna to a local court which make old and new mayors eligible for lawsuit. Then, this case was merged with Albayraklar’s case.
Immediately after sending the file to Istanbul High Criminal Court, the defendants under arrest were released at the first hearing. It was remarkable that defendants detained in absent were released without their testimony taken.
After a while, Erdogan’s party came to power. Immediately after that, the court made the ruling. The court sentenced Mustafa Albayrak, his brothers Kazım and Muzaffer Albayrak, company’s head of procurement department Huseyin Yilmaz, Mehmet Sami Polat, Tamer Öztürk and Osman Temur 2 months 27 days of imprisonment on charges of ‘bid-rigging’ and Council’s Procurement Commission members Basri Saygi, Mustafa Doner, Omer Gaziler and Beytullah Ates were sentenced same amount of imprisonment on charges of ‘neglect of duty’. Then the imprisonment was converted to a fine, then postponed assuming the defendants would not commit any other crime. Gurtuna and other 54 people were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Lawsuits opened by State Security Court and then sent to high criminal courts after the new law, are still ongoing. But the trials of Erdogan and Gultuna were resulted with such a speed.
Albayraklar case included 6 parliament members from AKP party, formerly worked at Istanbul Municipality. But after gaining diplomatic immunity, cases of Mustafa Acikalin, Adem Basturk, Idris Naim Sahin, Zulfu Demirbag, Selami Uzun and Mustafa Ilicali are separated. After the elections on November 3rd 2002, Albayraklar became the star as AKP came to power. They began to take bigger bids. They got Eregli Textile, Balikesir SEKA (Turkey Cellulose and Paper factories) and Trabzon port that belong to one of the biggest enterprises, Sumer Holding.
After adding Balikesir SEKA to privatization list, it was sold to Albayraklar for $1.1 million which is almost a price of an apartment building. With this contract, Albayraklar also got the ownership of 4 trillion TL worth of spare parts, 185 lodgings each worth 20 billion average, an energy turbine worth 2.8 trillion and 47 heavy machinery. Factory was built in 1981 and cost 189 million dollars, SEKA inspectors stated the factory worth $51 million.
Albayraklar’s third cheap investment through privatization was the port of Trabzon. 6 companies participated in the auction for operating rights for 30 years. 2 companies were eliminated in the elimination round and the port was opened to the auction with $ 21.3 billion. The operating rights for 30 years was sold to Albayraklar for 22 million 400 thousand dollars. Hope you are paying attention to the difference between billions and millions (one zero at least but an important one). So Albayraklar got the port for 1.1 trillion Turkish Liras, while it is stated that annual profit of the port was 2 trillion 850 billion in 2002. Albayraklar never give the port back despite the court’s decision. Balikesir Branch President of the Cellulose Workers’ Union Ismail Deniz, said that the port should be given back to SEKA according to the law.
4. Garbage Fraud
Fraud about the auctions for collection garbage and taking them to dumpsters.
This auction for transporting garbage from transfer areas to dumpsters was also given to Albayraklar via giving it first to a municipal company. Istanbul Municipality bid the job to a municipal company called ISTAC, then Istac bid it to two companies in partner with Albayraklar.
In 1996 garbage transportation bid was given to Sistem Insaat (System Contruction Corp.) and Gunaydin Kardesler (Gunaydin Brothers) at a price of 7 trillion turkish liras. The same job was bidded again when the investigations were going on in 2002. Albayraklar didnt make an offer and Ceynak company got the job at a price of 6.67 trillion TL. Despite the inflation, the job was bid for a much cheaper price even after 6 years.
5. Akbil Fraud
Fraud about the electronic ticketing system implemented to ease transportation in Istanbul.
The fraud includes all levels and phases of implementation and application of the system. Turkey had its first experience of cyber-embezzlement during Erdogan’s position at the Municipality. Trillions of liras of the Istanbul people were robbed by changing or deleting digital data. The case is still open, Erdogan is accused as the mastermind of the fraud.
6. IGDAS Fraud
A serious of frauds about Istanbul’s natural gas distribution company IGDAS, from network constructions to meter reading to advertising works auctions.
A municipal company IGDAS, which has the monopoly position running all natural gas networks and its distribution in all regions of Istanbul, became the center of biggest fraud activities during Erdogan’s term.
Network construction bids were given to pro-Erdogan companies for very cheap prices. From printing manuals to printing story and painting books, meter reading, purchase of refreshing towels, many bids involved rigging. Propaganda meetings organized by Erdogan were also financed by IGDAS. As a result, people of Istanbul paid over-priced natural gas bills. The case is still open in Eyup Criminal Court.
7- KIPTAS Fraud
Fraud about squandering the funds and the land, which was accumulated by Slum Housing Department to solve the problem of slums in Istanbul and then allocated to a municipal company KIPTAS, by arbitrary applications and bids.
Slum Housing Department was established to solve problem of the slums in Istanbul so they accumulated funds and land for the project. Then, KIPTAS was chosen to manage these lands and funds. KIPTAS gave the lands to their ally companies in bids and let them build and sell. Its revenue was used for lending money to ally municipalities. They bought land in Adapazari and sold some of it to mayors and politicians of FP (Virtue Party). The capital of this company was supposed to belong to the people of Istanbul and resolve the slum problem, but it was spent recklessly. The buildings cheaply constructed as social housings are uninhabitable. But KIPTAS became a built-sell company selling villas for $200-300 dollars.
Fraud about ISKI (Istanbul Water and Sewage Company) infrastructure construction, equipment rental, transportation of the personnel and supply of personnel’s clothing bids.
ISKI was used as a means of making people and companies supporting Erdogan rich like many other municipal companies during Erdogan’s term. Only 5 out of 119 bids were announced by newspapers. 114 bids were made in secret by inviting politically supporting companies. The construction companies were not only from Istanbul but from Gaziantep and Kayseri, common feature was they were all supporting Erdogan and they became the winner of bids. The case is still at Istanbul 4th Criminal Court and under investigation by the Chief of Inspection Board at Department of Internal Affairs.
9- Subway Fraud
Fraud about Istanbul Subway’s electro-mechanical system bid.
The construction began during Nurettin Sozen’s term (August 1992). While excavation work kept going, Erdogan was elected as the mayor. Sozen completed the bid for subway’s electro-mechanical system but left opening the envelopes to the new mayor. Erdogan opened the envelopes, found the prices very high and re-opened the bid.
Garanti-Koza-Simko-Siemens consortium won the auction, but after 7 months Erdogan canceled it for trivial reasons. The German company reacted to this and bluntly told that Erdogan canceled the auction to give it to one of his supporters. The tender was held for the third time and guess who got the tender? A consortium in partner with Albayraklar.
The case is still open at Istanbul 4th Criminal court. It was detected that Erdogan abused his authority, but he got away with it by ‘Rahsan Amnesty’ which exempted all the cases before April 23, 1999.
Fraud about equipment rental by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and its affiliate companies.
Erdogan launched a new application by leasing passenger vehicles. All measured were taken to assign supporting companies for this project.
For example, the ad for car-rental for Istanbul Municipality was published in Izmir branch of the Official Newspaper, the job was given to the company that belongs to the former Minister Hasan Aksay’s son Mehmet Emin Aksay in Ankara. The municipality is in istanbul, job ad in izmir, the company assigned in Ankara..
Not to mention over-pricing.. For example a brand new Renault Spring car’s selling price is 330 million TL and the municipality paid 312 million TL cash for annual rental!… If they paid 18 million more, the car would be theirs.
Erdogan got away with this case by Rahsan Amnesty as well.
Fraud about purchasing pesticide equipment to prevent mosquitoes and houseflies in Istanbul by the Municipality.
A lawsuit was filed for Erdogan and Gurtuna for preparing the auction for a single firm and for a single product at Istanbul Criminal Court.
12- Sludge Dam Fraud
Fraud about transportation of sludge from the Golden Horn to the dam site.
During the laying of pipes for improving the region, the bid was given to a company for a price 50 times higher than the price offered by Department of Public Works. Due to the fact that this can not be a minor mistake but involved secret negotiations between the municipality and the contractor company, a lawsuit was filed at Istanbul Criminal Court.
13-Appearing as a dollar billionaire in 7 years, Erdogan says he cannt live on Prime Minister’s salary.
His wealth was announced as follows on the day he was a Istanbul Mayor candidate: ‘An apartment in Kasimpasa, a co-opt share at Maltepe, 376 square-meters of land at Bolluca-Gaziosmanpasa, 10% of the shares of Burak Food and Trading Limited Company’ (article published on Sabah on Feb 20, 1994)
His wealth was announced on March 1, 2010: 376 square-meters of land at Bolluca-Gaziosmanpasa now worth $25,448 and a 2000 square-meter land at Guneysu-Dumankaya village worth $6,362. In his bank accounts, after company stock sales, retirement bonuses, retirement and deputy salaries added, he has $1,505,366.47 ) in his bank account. Compared to September 2007 figures, his wealth increased $358 thousand in cash and $120 thousand in loans. Not to mention the wikileaks document about his 8 accounts in Swedish banks.
7 years later, Rahmi Koc (one of Turkey’s wealthiest man) stated: “Mr Erdogan saved one billion dollars” (August 3, 2001, CNN Turk)
He bought a dry cargo ship to his son Ahmet Burak Erdogan for $2,323,000. There is still a joke going on about his statement after allegations about how he got all this money, he called the ship a ‘mini-ship’. (If you google ‘gemicik’, you can find out some good caricatures or comments.)
His other son Bilal Erdoan bought an apartment in the US for $216,000.
In addition, these two brothers own a villa worth of 1 trillion TL based on ‘deed records’. Erdogan bought a 450 square-foot similar villa in the same area for himself. He says, if he doesnt do trade, if he doesnt get money from trade, he cannt live on.
14-Minister of Finance, a defendant on trial for fake invoices.
Defendant Minister of Finance Kemal Unakitan’s son Abdullah Unakitan earns $233 million sitting and doing nothing. But how?
On April 17, 2003, the customs duty on corn imports decreased by 20%. In august, his son imports 4000 tons of corn. After he is done, on August 8, the customs duty increased back to 45% again.
He also got involved in importing pasteurized eggs. First, his company, AB Food Ind. and Trade Co. is rewarded by $1,590,550 worth of incentive offers and before he starts business, tax rates on pasteurized eggs is down to 8% from 18%.
In other words, Minister of Finance works for his own family.
Again Kemal Unakitan sold his own property to himself and he made 1 trillion 244 billion in 19 months. His company BEM Foreign Trade Inc. bought a real estate at Foca-Izmir for 15 billion TL. Same estate was sold to a private financial company on May 10. 2002 for 1 trillion 260 billion TL. Selling company’s partner is Kemal Unakitan same as buying company’s general manager.. He also got away without paying corporation tax and the company was liquidated.
15-219 auctions for road making in 13 days.
AKP government was formed on November 18, 2002. Yet in the first 13 days, till December 31, 2002, there were 219 road making auctions. Total procurement costs were 52 trillion and each auction was set up in a way that it wont exceed 750 billion TL, so they wont have to deal with Court of Accounts on any fraud investigation.
Why would a government who says they were never involved in corruption tries to escape from Court of Accounts inspection?
16-AKP supporter got $2 million worth project without an auction
Operating loading and unloading at TCDD (Turkish State Railroad Co.) Izmir Port which has a $70 million profit annually, was given to Reha Denizcilik (Reha Maritimes Co.) for 15 years without an auction. They have the option to extend the contract for 15 more years if they desire (total 30 years). The company was formed a week before the agreement. One of the biggest shareholder of this company is the Director Manager of AKP Bakirkoy County Rahmi Genc. He leaves the company after selling his shares.
17-The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, administrated and represented by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency., purchased Ceylan Group-owned Delux Resort Hotel in Antalya for $52 million in exchange for the Ceylan Group’s debt owed to a bank. Then the hotel was sold to a pro-AKP company for $25 million. State had $27 million loss from this transaction.
18-Minister of Interior’s genious son
Minister of Interior, Abdulkadir Aksu – (who is alleged in at least one WikiLeaks document to have been seriously involved in illegal activity, ties to the heroin trade, well-known predilection for teenage girls, and his son’s open Mafia links. Ironically after wikileaks documents, he has been assigned to chair of the Wikileaks commission in the parliament to investigate if the allegations are true or not…) – runs an investigation / inspection for Turkey Jockey Club after he is assigned as the minister. Jockey Club hires his son Murat Aksu as company lawyer for a monthly salary of 7.5 billion TL.
19-Other privatization lootings
Gemlik Fertilizer Industry Co was privatized for $83,1 million. Only the land the factory was built including 154 housing estates worth $120 million.
Only a small part of the land of Superbank privatized for $3 million 751 thousand was sold for $13 million 750 thousand.
Sumerbank founded 50 years ago by Cotton Fabrics Inc. was sold to a 47 partner Joint Venture Group (OGG) for $3 million 741 thousand by the Privatization High Council. The head of the OGG is Manisa AKP Mayor Bulent Kar. The group’s first act is to sell 55 acre portion of a total of 90 acres to KIPATESCO company for $13 million 750 thousand to build a shopping center. Thus company made quadrupled the profit in 4 and a half months. Moreover they have 35 more acres to sell. This also doesnt include the profit made from selling trillions worth of scrap. Bulent Kar clearly stated that the informal agreement between OGG and the Council didnt aim to ease the economy.
Minister of Transport Binali Yildirim’s son Erkan Yildirim bought a ship for 200 thousand euros in Italy by borrowing money from Santour GmbH in Germany. Binali Yildirim was the General Manager of Santour GmbH before becoming a deputy. In return, A ship owned by Turkey Maritime Enterprise was rented to Santour GmbH without an auction.
The AKP government sold 14.76% shares of TUPRAS (Turkey Oil Refinary Inc.) illegally to an Israeli businessman Ofer for $446 million after negotiations behind close doors. The shares worth proved to be much higher than this figure in 6 months when an auction was held to sell 51% stake. Council of State decreed the auction as illegal but the ruling never took effect.
Erdogan claimed he never met Ofer, then he admitted he saw him once. It appears he met him several times.
Kemal Unakitan met Ofer family multiple times to negotiate for Kusadasi, Galataport (claimed to be one of the biggest looting and re-construction rant but the auction was canceled and trying to re-auction) and Tupras.
Fundamentalist politics during Erdogan’s term as a Mayor
1- Relations with the Muslim Brotherhood Organization
Hosting of Muslim Brotherhood Organization representatives in Istanbul was provided by the municipality and residents of Istanbul. This organization located in Egypt is widely known as supporting international Islamist terrorist organizations. Jordan Branch representative of this organization Mohammed Ashmawey and Egypt branch representative Hasan Huwaydi stayed at Holiday Inn in Bakirkoy, Istanbul. The costs were paid by Ulasim AS (Transportation Inc. ), a municipal company of Istanbul. These were documented by Department of Internal Affairs.
2- Muslim Community Association:
Erdogan organized the “Union of Muslim Communities Conference” between May 28-29, 1996 in Istanbul. Necmeddin Erbakan made an opening speech. The expenses of delegates who attended the meeting amounting to U.S. $ 180,000 at Istanbul Eresin Hotel was paid by IGDAS. So technically residents of Istanbul financed the meeting with higher natural gas bills.
3-International Islamic Union Conference
Erdogan organized the “international Islamic Association Conference in April, 1997. Costs were met again by the Istanbul Municipality.
4- Mosque in Taksim Square
During his term as mayor, Erdogan gave positive messages to fundamentalists and acted in favor of them despite the fact that it made the political atmosphere more tense. Building a mosque in Taksim was one of them. He even issued evacuation notices for the shops nearby. But after his term was over, the project was left uncompleted.
5- Embracing people dismissed from Armed Forces
Erdogan embraced non-commissioned and other officers who were dismissed from the Armed Forces by NSC because of their reactionary activities. He tried to give the message ‘I am not afraid of the army’ to fundamentalist segments to gain their favor. He gave office to these people in his municipality.
6- Hired the people insulted Ataturk
Erdogan embraced the people who were convicted by a court decision for insulting Ataturk as well. They were given a position including imams preaching against Ataturk and so-called scientists at Istanbul Municipality. They were paid by people of Istanbul. One of Erdogan’s advisors Prof. Dr. Ihsan Sureyya Sirma was also convicted for 1.5 years on charges of insulting Ataturk.
7- Ugur Mumcu District (District is named after the journalist Ugur Mumcu who was assassinated on January 24, 1999, the case is still unresolved as many other political assassinations..)
ISKI (Istanbul Water Corp) did not distribute water to this housing site because of the name. They did not provide bus services. They didn’t make roads. General Manager of ISKI told the residents of the district: ‘You wont get any water unless you change the name of the district’. Thanks to the press, the event was publicly heard and the governor got involved and the problem was resolved after a long struggle.
A word in his majesty Erdogan’s mouth these days is an analogy to ‘Clean Hands Operation in Italy’. He lately forces pro-Ataturk, Pro-Republic intellectuals and dissident writers, illustrators and opposing newspapers to go under a financial investigation, fire employees in TV channels when he doesnt like what they say or write, he has them get arrested, imprisoned, while helping rising new supporting TV channels. One wonders why doesnt he ever let Kanal 7(Channel 7), Kanal 24(Channel 24) and Yeni Safak (New Dawn) newspaper go under financial investigation?
Lets go back to the days before these companies were founded and check out prosecutors’ indictments and inspectors’ reports. Before November 3rd, 2002 (election day).. 8 experts from ‘the Board of Account Experts’ at the Ministry of Finance written a 600 page report completed in two years. The reports were based on official documents and witnesses. According to the report, there is a $40 million fraud scheme. Some of the people involved were detained. Who were they?
About 70 people including Former Director General of IGDAS Fuat Sengul, Former Mayor of Istanbul and AKP Chairman Erdogan, Ironi Agency partner and Kanal 7 anchorman Ahmet Hakan Coskun, IGDAS Marketing and Sales Manager Ibrahim Mujdat Oguz, Ironi Agency partners Taci Erdemir and Mehmet Ozhusrev, Lonca Inc. employee Rasim Ozdemir and IGDAS officer Mahmut Yilmaz, IGDAS debt collector Metin Sahin, IGDAS Istanbul Anatolian Regian Branch Assistant Manager Yusuf Aydinoglu.
Former Director General of IGDAS Fuat Sengul said ‘Why are you arresting just us while you do nothing to our superiors’ (referring Former Mayors Erdogan and Gurtuna) in his interrogation. Mehmet Sisman, who was taken into custody in relation to the front companies Erek Advertising and Er Offset used in payment of 1.5 trillion TL from IGDAS to Ironi Agency, said in his testimony: “Erdogan’s advisor Tufan Mengi called me and he said he needs fake invoices for IGDAS. So i introduced my friend Ayhan Erim, who does this type of work, to Tufan Mengi… I got 5 billion Turkish liras for introducing him”. Now, lets take a look at the report prepared by Civil Service Chief Inspector Candan Eren (He was first displaced, and is now related to Ergenekon and Balyon cases in which it is widely claimed that Erdogan sends whoever is opposing him to jail by using these two major cases) and then presented to SSC.
The report included allegations that Erdogan was involved in organized criminal activity, bid-rigging in auctions and making preparations for jihad.
Some of the allegations were committing organized crime, bid-rigging, favoritism, nepotism, overpayment, fraud, working for a secret cause, jihad preparation, embazzlement, oppression, neglecting the laws, failure to comply with money-saving measures in auctions, putting municipality at a huge loss by hiring third part people or companies for jobs that can be done by using municipal facilities..
Despite the reports and indictments, Erdogan stated in front of the cameras: ‘I am speaking very openly and directly, people who made these allegations should prove us to be guilty, otherwise they are low, dishonest, dishonorable people’. But they were proved guilty and after November 3rd, 2002, they got the diplomatic amnesty.
Brotherhood of Corruption
Following list has been prepared as of September 5, 2002, but updated as of January 20,2011.
Today a lot of names mentioned in this list are members of the parliament and serve as ministers in Parliament, which provides them a diplomatic amnesty. Here is the list of the bureaucrats accused of corruption including Municipal Company General Managers, County Mayors, Municipal Contractors and close friends of Erdogan, who served in the Municipality of Istanbul.
Kemal Unakitan: Minister of Finance between 2002-2009, still a member of the parliament. He has 9 different cases and charged for organizing criminal activity and embazzlement. Ironic that he got the “Finance Minister of the Year award by a magazine called The Banker.
Idris Naim Sahin: AKP member of the Board of Founders. Former General Secretary of the Istanbul Municipality. He is a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Akbil and ALBAYRAKLAR cases.
Mehmet Mustafa Acikalin: Former General Secretary of the Istanbul Municipality. He is a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Akbil, ALBAYRAKLAR and IGDAS cases.
Akif Gulle: Vice-Chairman of the AKP. Former Head of Department of Personnel at Istanbul Municipality. He is a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Billboard case.
M. Hilmi Guler: Vice-Chairman of the AKP. He is the Minister of Energy and Natural Sources in the Parliament. Defendant of IGDAS case.
Adem Basturk: He is again the general secretary of the Istanbul Municipality. He got this job during Gurtuna’s term and dismissed by Minister of Interior inspectors. He was a candidate for the Parliament in the last elections. Defendant of Albayraklar and IGDAS cases.
Huseyin Besli: Former Press Adviser to the Municipality of Istanbul. Member of the Parliament in 2nd term. Defendant of IGDAS case.
Hamza Albayrak: Istanbul Municipality, the former Chairman of the Audit Committee. He is a deputy in the Parliament, had lawsuits for misconduct as well.
Nevzat Pakdil: IETT former Director General. He is a deputy in the Parliament.
Mehmet Ali Bulut: The AKP member of the Board of Founders. ISTON (Istanbul Concrete Elements and Ready-Mix Concrete Factories Ind. and Trade Co. – a municipal company) former member of the board. He is a deputy in the Parliament.
Mikail Arslan: Istanbul Municipality, the former Director of Slum Housing Department. He is a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Akbil case.
Mehmet Mehdi Eker: Istanbul Municipality, the former Director of Veterinary Medicine. He is the Minister of Agriculture.
Zulfu Demirbag: Istanbul Municipality, the former Director of Road Maintenance. He was a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Albayraklar case.
Mustafa Ilıcalı: Istanbul Municipality, the former head of Research Planning and Coordination Department. He is a deputy in the Parliament. Defendant of Albayraklar case.
Ali Mazak: Istanbul Municipality, the former Director of Cemeteries. He was a parliament candidate during 22. term now he is the head of directorate of libraries and museums, istanbul Municipality.
Selami Uzun: Istanbul Municipality former Head of Control Department which manages municipal police as well. ALBAYRAK defendant case. He is a deputy in the Parliement. Defendant of Albayraklar case and he was facing 36 years of prison.
Lokman Ayva: Former Disability Coordination Director of the Municipality of Istanbul. Istanbul 3 regional parliamentary candidate. He is a deputy in the Parliement.
Binali Yildirim: Former Director General of Istanbul Sea Buses. Following the rumors he was sacked by Gurtuna for renting food-stands to his relatives illegally. Now he is the Minister of Transportation and a Member of Parliament from Istanbul.
Ayhan Bolukbasi: the former Director General of a municipal company Spor Inc. He currently serves as the General Director of Istanbul Sports Activities Administration Trade Corporation.
Gulsey Erol: Former General Manager of Istanbul Municipality Hamidiye Water Inc. He was a parliament candidate of Istanbul, right now no records of him on internet.
Mehmet Sekmen: Former Mayor of Kartal. He was dismissed because of charges for fraud and misconduct. He returned to his job after a court’s decision. He became a member of the Parliement during the interrogations.
Recep Koral: Former Mayor of Gaziosmanpasa. He is a member of the Parliement, he had lawsuits about fraud and misconduct as well.
Yusuf Tulun: Mayor of Sariyer in his second term.
Yahya Bas: Former Mayor of Gungoren. Former member of the Parliement. He is expected to be a parliament candidate in the next elections in June, 2011 and he is the head of Gungoren Football Club.
Nusret Bayraktar: Former Mayor of Beyoglu. He is a deputy in the Parliement.
Ali Ibis: Former City Council member of the FP. FP Member of the Board of Directors during Erdogan’s term in Istanbul Municipality. City contractor. He is a deputy in the Parliement.
Nurettin Canikli: He was an Istanbul Defterdar deputy during Refahyol period. It is claimed that he is the one who pushed the button for Akbil fraud. He is the financial coordinator of Albayraklar group and also the AKP member of the Board of Founders. He is a deputy in the Parliement. Thanks to him, Kanal 7 and Albaywaklar was financed by him and Yeni Safak and Kanal 24 are results of these fraud schemes.
Mehmet Vecdi Gonul: He is a deputy in the parliament for the 3rd term. He was the head of Turkish Court of Accounts (which supposed to inspect government expenses) during Erdogan’s term as mayor of Istanbul. He is Erdogan’s most tristed and respected fellow.
Zeki Ergezen: He is a deputy in the parliament for the 3rd term. Close friend of Erdogan. His relatives took bids in IGDAS as well as sites for KIPTAS.
Resul Tosun: He is a deputy in the parliament for the 2nd term. He is a columnist aat Yeni Safak newspaper which belongs to – unsurprisingly- Albayraklar group.
Hayati Yazici: Erdogan’s attorney. now deputy in the parliament. He was also the lawyer of defendants responsible for burning 37 people live trapped in a hotel.
Fatih Recep Saracoglu: Owner of ERTE Construction company one of the favorite contractors of Istanbul Municipality. He was a candidate for the parliament. He is also one of the member of AKP Board of Founders.
Saim Bagbars: Owner of AY-SA and EN-SA contractor companies also one of the favorite contractors of Istanbul Municipality. He was a candidate of the parliament, now called a benovalent holding owner.
Nevzat Pakdil: Former General Director of IETT (Istanbul Safe Public Transportation Inc). He also got the position General Manager of Personnel and Principles during REFAH-YOL coalition. Now a member of the parliament. He is a defendant of Billboard case.
Ali Temur: He and Erbakan were sentenced to 1 year in prison for improper use of Treasury funds paid to RP. He showed his residence as Netherlands. Whilce police was looking for him to arrest, he continued his campaign and got elected as a member of the parliament from Giresun. He is still a member of the parliament.
Halil Urun: He was an advisor to the directing manager of ISKI. He was convicted of insulting Ataturk, which was postponed due to conditional discharge law. He became a member of the parliament, while the lawsuits were issued. Now he is still advising at Istanbul Municipality.
Cemal Kaya: Under 2. Clean Energy operation the phone records in the reports showed how the AKP descended into the swamp of corruption. According to the phone records, Cemal Kaya, a member of the parliament, calls Ibrahim Selcuk, a businessman and requests to get auctions for Aram Co., the company registered under his wife’s name and he talks about how much discounts they should have, he finds the auctions small and wants to have bigger contracts. The Indictment includes Ibrahim Selcuk’s talk to Idris Naim Sahin (check above) about pressuring Chairman of the Audit Committee Cevdat Malkoc.
Cevdat Malkoc switched from CHP to AKP, after corruption casesm he resigned from the parliament and he was convicted. He is a member of the parliament again this term.
Huseyin Celik: Troughout the history of Turkish Republic, a public institution asked for an investigation for corruption allegations against a Minister. Minister of Education opened 62 bids for construction of 135 elementary schools on June 7, 2004. The results are ministry accepted different bid prices for different cities while the schools are supposed to be standard and none of the companies bid the lowest three got any of the bids. Due to bid-rigging allegations, Public Procurement Authority requested an investigation, it was denied in the parliament by AKP votes. He is still member of the parliament, vice-president of AKP and party speaker.
In many countries around the world, African slaves were not used to create an economy. Therefore, no giant schism exists between blacks and non blacks since there is no history of oppression. Turkey was one of those countries. So is Australia:
Although this humor may be off color due to (at the time) Michael Jackson’s recent death, the concept of blackface does not have the same connotation in Australia, nor in Turkey, as it does in the United States and Great Britain.
All that said, the anchor is a jackass. Not a racist, but an overall bumbling moron.
Also, I’m not insinuating racism doesn’t exist in those countries, I’m saying that blackface, and racism against black people, is highly muted compared to what we’re used to.
Here is the link to FULL TRANSLATION of the anchor’s speech
The anchor’s comment was LOST IN TRANSLATION. He was trying to play on words based on Turkish proverbs since Obama used a Turkish idiom in his speech.
HERE IS THE FULL TRANSLATION OF THE ANCHOR’S SPEECH.
There is NO REFERENCE TO RACE since thehistory of it is NOT known is Turkey.
soundbull, thanks for the explanation. Don’t worry, your English is much better than my Turkish.
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