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Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has made a statement about the Paradise Papers leaked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Yıldırım on Paradise Papers
Issuing a statement to the journalists at Ankara Esenboğa Airport ahead of his visit to the United States (US), Yıldırım said that he was doing business in maritime and it is normal that he has relation with Malta:
“I’ve done business in maritime all my life, I worked as ship broker. When I started doing politics, I’ve left my business to my children.
“When I started doing politics, I gave an advice to my children; never do business with the state, you won’t even approach it. You will never use sources from public banks.
“My nation know me, I have parliamentary immunity but my children don’t.
“Maritime sector is a global business, there is nothing secret about it”.
“All sorts of investigation can be launched”
“I hereby urge that any sort of investigation, be it financial or legal, can be launched. I especially want that. One being charged for no reason is unacceptable. We exist by our pride. We’ve spent our lives for our country and nation. Our biggest wealth is our dignity; the rest is temporary”.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's family
According to the report, there are eight corporations that are linked with Prime Minister Yıldırım's son, maternal uncle and nephew. The eight corporations have been revealed corporations which wanted to evade taxes in Turkey.
The names of these companies are:
Hawke Bay Marine Co Ltd., Black Eagle Marine Co Ltd., South Seas Shipping N.V., Dertel Shipping Limited, Nova Warrior Limited, Nova Ponza Limited, Rory Malta Limited ve Tulip Maritime Limited.
Yıldırım's close friend Salih Zeki Çakır
Salih Zeki Çakır is a partner of two of the above-mentioned companies. Known for having won tenders of the Ministry of Transportation, Çakır's name has became a topic of conversation with regards to the ship-sales to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Burak Erdoğan.
Çakır was also the business partner of Binali Yıldırım before he took office as the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication
As the ship sales were on public agenda, Çakır had stated that he was a close friend of the then Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Yıldırım, that he got Yıldırım's support for the elections of the Chamber of Shipping but denied that he was the owner the ships that were the subject of the sales.
Çakır also has business connections with PM Binali Yıldırım's son Erkam Yıldırım and his maternal uncle Yılmaz Serence.
Companies of Yıldırım brothers
According to Paradise Papers, the Yildirim brothers are the "sole shareholders of two companies registered in Malta".
* "The first, Hawke Bay Marine Co. Ltd, was set up in April 2004. Public records suggest that the company owns or manages shipping vessels.
* "The second, Black Eagle Marine Co. Ltd, was incorporated in January 2007.
Records show that Erkam Yıldırım, who was the majority shareholder of the companies, is also the director of both. The companies were listed as active in the Malta Registry of Companies in October 2017.
Nova Warrior - Oras Denizcilik connection
International Maritime Organization (IMO) registries, the address of Nova Warrior Limited, of which Erkam Yıldırım is a shareholder, is registered as the İstanbul-based Oras Denizcilik ve Ticaret Ltd Şti.
According to the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette, Salih Zeki Çakır and Ahmet Said Atasoy were registered as Oras Maritime's shareholders until July 2006 and its current shareholders are Çağrı Cihan Çakır and Nihan Nur Çakır.
According to the official records, there is no connection between Oras Denizcilik and Erkam and Bülent Yıldırım. But the Maltese records point to a cooperation between Oras Denizcilik and the Yıldırım brothers.
The IMO registries also show a ship registered under the still-active Nova Warrior Limited whose director is PM Yıldırım's nephew Süleyman Varol. (HK/TK)
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