Energy tenders allegedly scrapped for Bosphorus 360, a company linked to his son

Audio clips leaked by an individual under Twitter account Haramzadeler have provided new proof of embezzlement in several energy privatization deals upon the instructions of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to secure undeserved gains for Bosphorus 360, a company in which Erdoğan’s son Bilal allegedly holds a disguised partnership.

In several audio recordings Haramzadeler uploaded to YouTube, a voice purportedly of Bosphorus 360 General Manager Abdülkerim Çay is heard speaking to a Ministry of Energy bureaucrat named Murat over the phone.

The recordings, which are believed to have been wiretapped legally because they include a Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) ID number, allegedly revealed that the privatizations of several power plants were canceled and that the plants were sold to Bosphorus 360 under the pretext of “renovation.”

According to one of the clips, a meeting was held in a hotel in the Czech Republic to discuss the details concerning the transfer of these energy companies to Bosphorus 360, with a number of representatives of this company in attendance. Furthermore, bribes were given to Bosphorus 360 under the guise of consultancy commission. According to the allegations expressed in this audio recording, the attendees of this meeting contemplated about taking over control of eight thermal power plants. A decision to suspend the concluded privatization deals for five of them was made, according to the clip.

In another clip, Çay allegedly tells Murat that they want the Tunçbilek lignite power plant in Kütahya. He said they are following this closely and that this issue is the first “bend to negotiate for the [energy] minister.” Çay purportedly said if the minister fails to help them with this power plant, it would not go unnoticed. “Examining a minister” is surely not appropriate behavior, Çay said, adding, however, that this is the de facto situation.

In the recording, Murat is heard telling Çay that this situation must be brought up clearly and unreservedly in the meeting since the “gentleman” had flatly ordered them to “directly transfer this plant to this company.”

In yet another meeting, Murat tells Çay that some capital needs to be spared for the power plants in tow and that some steps need to be taken swiftly to conclude agreements with the companies that had previously won the tenders for these power plants. Murat advises Çay to explicitly tell the winning companies that they “will not do the job, but when we establish [our ownership of] the power plant, we will give you this other job.”

The latest recording on this issue was allegedly between Çay and Cengiz Aktürk, the on-paper shareholder of Bosphorus 360. The voice purportedly of Çay talks about the ministry’s suspension of the privatization tenders and that the ministry is waiting for the company to make some strides soon, else they may encounter public questioning over the reason for the cancelation of these tenders.


About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
This entry was posted in Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s