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Saudi gold for Turkey

Reader comment on item: Who Lost Turkey?
in response to reader comment: Where did you get this info from?

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 13, 2010 at 08:24

Asena wrote referring to rumours of big Saudi money in Turkey :

"Who told you this? This is a very serious statement. Who were you hanging out with while in Turkey?"

If you'd like to read something serious and unconnected to your favourite Turkish propaganda pamphlets , then there is an interesting scholarly article I recommend on the subject published in 2005 in the Middle Eastern Quarterly "Green Money, Islamist Politics in Turkey" by Michael Rubin .

Just a few quotes from it to help you see what people you hang out with don't notice or care about :

"Current and former government officials, as well as Turkish economists, variously estimated the green money infusion into the Turkish economy to be between $6 billion and $12 billon. Much of the money enters Turkey "in suitcases" with couriers and remains in the unofficial economy. Even when deposited, banks ask no questions about the origins of the cash. "Money laundering is one of the worst aspects of Turkish politics," a former state planning official said. Political parties across the political spectrum develop slush funds without revealing their source. But, under the AKP, the unofficial economy has grown exponentially. Official Turkish statistics provide some clue as to the scope of the problem. Between 2002 and 2003, the summary balance of payments for net error and omission category—basically unexplained income—increased from $149 million to almost $4 billion. This is an eighty-year record error. In the first six months of 2004, an additional $1.3 billion entered the system, its origins unaccounted. But even these net error figures may be too low.

"The growth of the Islamic business sector is apparent across Turkey and appears intricately linked to the AKP's rise. The growth of the Islamic business sector is apparent across Turkey and appears intricately linked to the AKP's rise [...] profits earned are reinvested in other Islamist ventures or political campaigns. The green money influx into Turkey is not a short-term phenomenon. Rather, through careful investment, green money is laundered into legitimate businesses that will serve as an engine for Islamist parties..."

"it appears that AKP leaders have blurred the distinction between business and politics. More troubling yet is the pattern of tying Turkish domestic and foreign policy to an influx of what is called Yesil Sermaye, "green money," from wealthy Islamist businessmen and Middle Eastern states.

[...] A national security correspondent for a major Turkish daily elaborated on the impact of the aid: "The change in foreign policy isn't happening in a vacuum. Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have made their foreign aid to the AKP dependent on Turkey readjusting its position toward Israel."

Erdoğan [...] perhaps [...] is heavily invested in green money business. In August 2001, Rahmi Koç, chairman of Koç Holding, Turkey's largest and oldest conglomerate, commented on CNN Türk that Erdoğan has a US$1 billion fortune and asked the source of his wealth. According to Sedat Ergin, Ankara bureau chief for Hürriyet, Erdoğan holds substantial financial stakes in three different firms, which both Turkish military and intelligence officers and, according to numerous interviews, the man-on-the-street as well, believe subsidize Islamist politics. The Erdoğan family controls approximately 50 percent of Emniyet Foods, the distributor for Ülker, Turkey's leading confectionary company. Recep Erdoğan is a shareholder in Ihsan Foods, which distributes Ülker's dairy products and owns a 12 percent stake in Yenidoğan Foods Marketing, which distributes Ülker soft drinks[...] since Erdoğan's accession, Ülker has become increasingly visible, perhaps as businesses seek the prime minister's favor. Across Istanbul and Ankara, Ülker's ColaTurka has begun to replace Coca-Cola in kiosks and store shelves.

[...] AKP advisors Korkut Özal and Cuneyd Zapsu are involved in managing the green money influx. Korkut Özal, the younger brother of Turgut Özal (prime minister, 1983-89; president, 1989-93), is the leading Turkish shareholder in Al-Baraka Finance, perhaps Turkey's leading Islamic bank, and Faisal Finance, which also has roots in Saudi Arabia. ... Like Korkut Özal, Zapsu eschews the limelight, although several Turkish and American media reports from the time of the AKP victory identify him as one of Erdoğan's chief advisors. [...] On October 27, 2001, Hürriyet reported that Zapsu was the business partner of Yasin al-Qadi, whose assets were frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control because of links to Al-Qaeda. Erdoğan cannot be held accountable for the faulty judgment of an aide, but in a global war on terrorism, such close links between his advisor and a terrorist financier are cause for concern."


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (58) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Missing the obvious [74 words]car313Oct 26, 2011 16:23190421
Blame Israel [25 words]Joseph IIJul 7, 2010 04:13175250
Europe is the number 1 responsible [44 words]Dawood BenatarJul 23, 2010 13:44175250
Can't lose what you never had [67 words]DaveJun 29, 2010 09:08174979
1Turkey lost itself [303 words]Cherif El-AyoutyJun 29, 2010 05:36174970
Wahhabis not exist in Turkey at all [92 words]M A KavukluogluJun 17, 2010 13:55174500
To M A Kavukluoglu [50 words]Germain LucasJun 18, 2010 11:50174500
1It's all about feeding the crocodile hoping to be eaten the last! [391 words]Germain LucasJun 14, 2010 16:51174410
Turkey Only Misplaced - It Never Lost Its Islamicism [593 words]M. ToveyJun 14, 2010 15:48174409
rise of fundamentalism [29 words]Mary SeayJun 13, 2010 20:53174373
The rise of Islamo-Kemalism [1051 words]IanusJun 14, 2010 15:18174373
Specifically: Once religion integrates into politics, there will be still be more splinter parties within secularists and less under the ultimate unifier, Islam [389 words]LazmanJun 13, 2010 18:38174372
Broadly: After 7 centuries of Ottoman Empire and 36 Sultans/Caliph, many reforms are needed to alter the mentality that worships power [205 words]LazmanJun 13, 2010 18:02174368
1west never looks its own policies towards muslims .. [134 words]syed aliJun 15, 2010 07:47174368
Muslims? [200 words]trans-parereJul 28, 2010 10:17174368
You Are More Likely Correct [62 words]Mark D.Jun 13, 2010 15:13174364
Blame Cast Lead [43 words]Chun Doo HwanJun 13, 2010 06:35174342
The bombed synagogues of Istanbul [71 words]IanusJun 16, 2010 18:16174342
Historical Trend [229 words]VijayJun 13, 2010 05:33174336
it is islam that did it [138 words]Phil GreendJun 12, 2010 22:26174318
Turkey [49 words]FrancisJun 12, 2010 14:43174303
another explanation: secular recoil [214 words]mythJun 12, 2010 09:54174290
Islam Played What Role? [60 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Mark D.Jun 11, 2010 22:56174268
Islamization of Turkey [40 words]G. RinzlerJun 11, 2010 16:58174250
Where did you get this info from? [19 words]AsenaJun 12, 2010 04:45174250
Time to bring back a Modern Turkey/Turkiye [98 words]kamil suJun 13, 2010 02:57174250
Saudi gold for Turkey [748 words]IanusJun 13, 2010 08:24174250
Israel lost Turkey - the world still has it. [214 words]Ghulam Muhammed, MumbaiJun 11, 2010 09:55174228
2Turkey changes direction in the last 30 years [266 words]Ognyan MinchevJun 11, 2010 08:55174225
1Turkish history-writing [173 words]G.VishvasJun 11, 2010 08:33174221
1WESTERN FOLLY [83 words]tyroneezJan 15, 2012 23:32174221
Is Turkey an Isolated Case? [62 words]Gamaliel IsaacJun 11, 2010 07:28174219
who makes the Turkish military? [74 words]AseanJun 12, 2010 05:00174219
1THE ATATURK REVOLUTION HAS FAILED [157 words]shimon mendesJun 11, 2010 04:41174208
Nope, it just was discontinued [153 words]Alain Jean-MairetJun 12, 2010 01:24174208
Good Morning [46 words]AsenaJun 12, 2010 04:53174208
1HISTORY PROVED THAT LEOPARD CANNOT CHANGE HIS SPOTS [259 words]shimon mendesJun 13, 2010 10:50174208
IT WAS THE TURKISH PEOPLE MISFORTUNE [51 words]shimon mendesJun 13, 2010 11:07174208
Turks actually don't need such leaders anymore [95 words]Alain Jean-MairetJun 14, 2010 03:30174208
You are right [126 words]katieJul 15, 2010 02:12174208
But are islamists in power that bad, after all? [116 words]Alain Jean-MairetJun 11, 2010 04:24174207
So They Focus So Much More Now In Islam [65 words]Mark D.Jun 11, 2010 23:42174207
TURKEY IN THE RACE OF BEING THE NEXT PAKISTAN [64 words]F60Jun 11, 2010 02:51174205
I go with door #2 [227 words]NOproblemJun 11, 2010 02:47174204
1The case of Turkey [96 words]Janusz KowalikJun 10, 2010 20:23174195
Who lost Turkey [122 words]Nenette GrunbergJun 10, 2010 20:21174194
Anatoly's Two Cents on Anatolia [477 words]Anatoly TsaliovichJun 10, 2010 19:56174193
Wrong [161 words]AsenaJun 12, 2010 05:16174193
Asena should pay more attention to facts and put them in context [275 words]Anatoly TsaliovichJun 13, 2010 02:15174193
almost an explanation [66 words]mythJun 10, 2010 19:15174189
The West is to Blame [596 words]HistoryscoperJun 10, 2010 18:55174187
Turks lost the Turkey that Ataturk intended it to be. [19 words]M.D.Jun 10, 2010 18:42174186
The Threat of Islam [47 words]Mark D.Jun 11, 2010 23:11174186
Let's not forget what the turks did to Europe for 500 years ...... [290 words]RNDJun 10, 2010 18:34174183
Let's not forget what the turks did to Europe for 500 years ...... [202 words]RNDJun 10, 2010 18:23174182
total fraction of lost votes is almost 50% [121 words]mythJun 10, 2010 18:19174180
Two thoughts [58 words]DianeJun 10, 2010 17:15174176
Islam Played a Role To What Degree? [68 words]Mark D.Jun 11, 2010 23:04174176

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