Erdoğan has been very critical of the military intervention in Egypt that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi in early July of last year. He has criticized Western nations for not calling the military intervention “a coup.” Saudi Arabia backed the military intervention against Morsi.
Al-Qadi, according to the recording, said that he can provide Erdoğan with reasons for his request if he can meet with prime minister.
Erdoğan, after talking with al-Qadi, can be heard talking to Bilal and strongly criticizing a tweet critical of Saudi Arabia that was posted via a Twitter account close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He asked his son who posted the tweet and demanded it be removed, as it could seriously harm his ties with Saudi elites.
Trying to find out who was behind the tweet criticizing Saudi Arabia on Egypt, Erdoğan asks his son many questions, and Bilal Erdoğan finally admits that he was the one who had posted it.
In the leaked recording, Erdoğan strongly reprimands his son for posting the tweet. “When I was talking to him [al-Qadi], I mentioned the issue without giving any names of countries. And you reveal it; you insult Saudi Arabia,” the voice allegedly belonging to Erdoğan said in the recording. He added, “We are searching for the enemy outside, but the enemy is inside. Do you think these guys [the Saudis] will trust us again? Hurry and remove the tweet.”
The recent recording also suggests that, after al-Qadi’s warning, Erdoğan backtracked on his anti-coup remarks and softened his tone on Egypt.
It was speculated on social media that the controversial tweet, which was deleted after a short time, was one in which the user Wakeupattack criticized Saudi Arabia for giving $5 billion to the new government in Egypt, which came to power after Morsi was removed through military intervention. Wakeupattack is thought of as a pro-AK Party account.
The Taraf daily reported in late December that al-Qadi has entered Turkey multiple times, escorted by Erdoğan’s protective detail, without a passport or visa, although his entry into the country was banned by a Cabinet decision.
According to daily Taraf, the Saudi businessman illegally entered Turkey four times between February 2012 and October 2012.
Amid allegations of Erdoğan having close relations with al-Qadi, the prime minister has said: “Al-Qadi is a Saudi businessman who loves Turkey and wants to invest in this country. He has no connection with al-Qaeda. He has been acquitted of all accusations made against him. Is it a crime to meet with this person who wants to make a huge amount of investment in Turkey?”
Erdoğan has been also quoted as saying: “I know al-Qadi. I believe in him as I believe in myself. For al-Qadi to associate with a terrorist organization, or support one, is impossible.”