Germany's Deutsche Bank has contradicted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by saying that the bank was not in talks with Turkey over the financing of the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
An official from the bank told Euronews' Turkish service on July 1 that they had not yet received any demand from Turkey with regards to the project's financing.
The bank is known to have provided loans to Turkey for various big-scale projects, such as the construction of the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge and Istanbul Metro.
Erdoğan argued earlier this week that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaorğlu was "threatening Deutsche Bank” over what he said the bank's involvement in the Kanal Istanbul project.
"They are throwing threats at Deutsche Bank saying 'We will definitely not make the payments.' They do not even have knowledge on what it means to be a state, what it means to govern a state," Erdoğan said on June 30 as he addressed his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in a group meeting.
Erdoğan's statement came after Kılıçdaroğlu said last week that he would cut ties with any domestic or foreign companies that invested in the project if his party eventually gains control of the government.
In response to Erdoğan's remark on Deutsche Bank, Kılıçdaroğlu later on June 30 took to Twitter, once again warning investors that they will not receive reimbursement from the Turkish Treasury if his party comes to power.
Kılıçdaroğlu released his message in four different languages: English, Germany, French and Arabic.
"Erdoğan, I tell the same thing to everyone who has eyes on my people's money and nature. They will not be able to take money from Turkey's Treasury! Then let me also tell this to Deutsche Bank,” Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted on June 30.
Erdoğan, halkımın parasında ve doğasında gözü olan herkese aynı şeyi söylüyorum, Türkiye’nin hazinesinden para alamayacaklar! O zaman @DeutscheBank’a da söyleyeyim…— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) June 30, 2021
Widely protested by locals, environmentalists and opposition figures alike, the Kanal Istanbul project is designed to split the Thrace region in half to create an artificial canal that would connect the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea.
Having become a point of personal ambition for Erdoğan, the project is feared to cause devastation of the local flora and fauna in the region, and displace locals whose land was sold bought off for the construction.