ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed as lies accusations by Turkey’s main opposition party that his family has moved millions of dollars into foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) filed a parliamentary motion requesting an investigation into its allegations, which CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu says he can back with documents detailing some $14 million in money transfers by members of Erdogan’s family to the Isle of Man.
Erdogan, who has led Turkey since 2003, denied the accusations against his family and said he would take the CHP leader to court.
“These people haven’t sent a dime abroad,” Erdogan said in a speech, adding that Kilicdaroglu was “telling lies”.
Erdogan’s lawyer says the documents are fake and has called on Kilicdaroglu to hand them over to prosecutors.
CHP Spokesman Bulent Tezcan was quoted by Hurriyet newspaper as saying the prosecutor had no role to play in the matter.
“We know you are trying to drown this out and silence everyone, but we will not be silenced,” he said. “It is not ethical. Our chairman did not say whether this was a crime or not. He has made no evaluation in criminal terms.”
To form any investigative commission, a majority vote would be needed in a parliament which is dominated by the AK Party that Erdogan founded.
Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics in almost 15 years as Prime Minister and then President and remains by far the country’s most popular leader; but opponents accuse him of increasingly authoritarian conduct.
Reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Ece Toksabay, Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan and Ralph Boulton