Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet disputed the authenticity of the telephone conversation between the Prime Minister and his eldest son, Bilal, circulating on the internet.
The tape, dated 17 December 2013, was leaked on 24 February 2014 by an unknown source. The voice of the Prime Minister is heard ordering his son to remove the 30 million euros that are stashed at home before it is searched.
On Sunday, newspapers sympathetic towards Erdoğan had accused a number of prosecutors, allegedly members of a network run by former ally and Islamic cleric Fehtulla Gülen of having ordered over the past three years the recording of telephone conversations involving several thousand people.
After consulting with his immediate entourage, including the chief of the governmental intelligence agency (MIT), Hakan Fidan, the Prime Minister implicitly recognized that it was his voice and that of his son, while at the same time denouncing a shameful "montage".
For the main opposition parties, who called for the resignation of Prime Minister, the theory of a "montage" cannot be taken seriously.
The stock market reacted with a significant drop of 2.75%.
Transcript of the conversation:
Dec 17, 2013 08:02 a.m.
RTE: Are you home son?
Bilal E(son): Yes father
RTE: Now! This morning [they] made an operation. Ali Agaoglu, Reza Zerrab, Erdogan’s [Bayraktar-ex minister] son, Zafer’s [Caglayan – ex-minister] son, Muammer’s [Guler – ex-minister] son, etc.. All their houses are being searched now.
BE: Tell again, daddy
RTE: I’m saying that Muammer’s son, Zafer’s son, Erdogan’s son, Ali Agaoglu, Reza Zerrab etc they are searching the houses of 18 people under a big corruption operation thing.
RTE: OK? Now, what I say is, you take everything that you have in the house out. OK?
BE: What can I have on me dad! There is your money in the safe
RTE: That’s what I am saying. Now, I am sending your sister. OK?
BE: You are sending who?
RTE: Your sister, I’m saying.
BE: Eh, OK
RTE: Then,... She has that information, OK. Talk with your big brother
RTE: On him,,, Let’s do..., talk with your uncle too, he should also take out, also talk to your [maternal] uncle, he should also...
BE: What should we do with these daddy, where should we put them?
RTE: To specific places, to some specific places... do it (A woman’s voice on background saying “Berat”)
BE: Berat also has some
RTE: That’s what I am saying. Now, get together, go get your uncle, I don’t know if Uncle Ziya has some, OK? Also immediately [inform] your brother Burak too.
BE: OK father. You mean Sumeyye, I mean take out, Sumeyye will tell me where to take them?
RTE: Yes, fine. C’mon now, do [it] think about yours among yourselves with your uncle, etc
BE: on what to do?
RTE: Yes, yes, let’s contact fast, until 10.00. Because the issue is...
BE: OK father
RTE: OK? Keep in touch
BE: OK daddy
2nd call 11.17
BE: Father, We got together with Brother Hasan etc. Brother Berat, my uncle, we are together, thinking about it. Berat has another idea. He says that let’s give some of it toFaruk [Kalyoncu] for the other “business/thing” so he can process them like the previous ones. Shall we do it, we can solve a big amount with this.
RTE: That may be
BE: OK. For the other part, because we started a business partnership with Mehmet Gur, we thought of giving it to him saying “keep it, as the projects come you can use from that. This way, we will be able to dissolve and move the rest to somewhere else.
RTE: OK, fine, as long as you do...
RTE: Did Sumeyye arrive?
BE: She arrived home, she’ll now come here. OK daddy, we will sort this out today, inshallah (with God’s permission). Anything else?
RTE: It would be good if you do... If you can dissolve them all.
BE: Yes, we will dissolve them all, inshallah
3rd call 15.39
RTE: Did you do the other tasks I gave you?
BE: We will finish them in the evening. We sorted some out; We sorted the Berat part, now we will first handle the part with Mehmet Gur and the rest, we will do that when it gets dark.
RTE: What did Sumeyye do?
BE: She took them out, brought, we talked, etc.
RTE: Did she sort both sides?
BE: I think so daddy, she said she emptied both.
RTE: Both sides
BE: Yes, she said both of them, but you mean this by saying both sides, right?
RTE: Whatever. OK, fine
BE: What time will you arrive?
RTE: About 12
BE: Have a safe journey
RTE: Do not talk on the phone
4th call 23.15
BE: Hi daddy, I am calling to... we did [it] mostly. Eee, did you call me daddy?
RTE: No I did not, you called me
BE: I was called from a secret number
RTE: By saying mostly, did you fully dissolve it
BE: We did not zeroized it yet daddy. Let me explain.. We still have a 30 million euros that we could not yet dissolve. Berat thought of something.. There was an additional 25 million dollars that Ahmet Calik should receive. They say let’s give this [to him] there. When the money comes, we do [something], they say. And with the remaining money we can buy a flat from Sehrizar, he says. What do you say, father?
(background sound: Ayyy)
RTE: Is Sumeyye with you?
BE: Yes with me, should I call her?
RTE: No, there was another sound, that’s why I asked
BE: Umm.. I mean, he can transfer 35 million dollars to Calik and buy a flat from Sherizar with the remaining.
RTE: Whatever, we will sort it
BE: Should we do it like this?
RTE: OK do it
BE: Do you want them all dissolved father, or do you want some money for yourself
RTE: No, it cannot stay, son. You could transfer that to the other, with Mehmet you could transfer it there...
BE: Yes, we gave to them. We gave 20 to them
RTE: For God’s sake, first you should’ve transferred you could then do...
BE: we were able to give this much for now, it is hard already, it takes too much space. We are putting some of it to another place, we gave part of it to Tunc, and then...
RTE: did you transfer all to Tunc?
BE: (Sumeyye, can you come) Where, father?
RTE: To Tunc, I say, did you transfer all to Tunc?
BE: They asked, I guess he said that he could take 10 million euros.
RTE: Whatever. Do not talk this like this on this.
BE: OK, then, we will sort it as such
RTE: Ok do it. I am not able to come tonight, I will stay in Ankara
BE: OK, we are sorting it out. You do not worry
5th call 18.12.2013 10.58
RTE. I wondered if everything is fine, so I called
BE: No, nothing. We finished the tasks you gave us, with the help of the God
RTE: Is it all zeroed?
BE: Fully, I mean saying zeroed, how should I put it? I had Samandira and Maltepe’s money, 730.000 USD and 300.000 TL. I will handle these too. We owe 1 million TL to Faruk İsik (AKP MP); I will give those to him and tell him to transfer the rest to the academy.
RTE: Do not talk openly
BE: Should’t I talk?
RTE: Do not talk, OK?
BE: OK daddy
RTE: I mean, do not keep anything on you, whatever it is Samandira or whatever... Send it to where it needs to be, where do you keep it?
BE: OK daddy, but I think currently we are under surveillance
RTE: What have I been telling to you since the very beginning!
BE: But is it the bodyguard team? Who is following us father?
RTE: Son, you are being tapped
BE: But they are also visually monitoring, they say
RTE: That may be true. Now, we did some things (meaning intervention) in Istanbul security