Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu late on May 24 claimed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family members will flee Turkey if the government changes next year in the elections.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that "large sums of money" were being transferred to the U.S. through two foundations as part of this preparation plan. The main opposition leader made the comments in a video shared on his Twitter account, referring to the alleged scheme as the "anatomy of an escape plan."
"While they are looking for a place to escape, we have no other homeland. We are not going anywhere, we will resurrect this state together. Keep your head up, my dear people. You exist and you deserve better. Happy, peaceful days are coming!" Kılıçdaroğlu said in the Twitter post in which he also shared his speech.
Onlar kaçacak yer ararken, bizim başka memleketimiz yok. Biz bir yere gitmiyoruz, bu devleti birlikte ayağa kaldıracağız. Başını dik tut sevgili halkım. Sen varsın ve daha iyisini hak ediyorsun. Geliyor mutlu, huzurlu günler! #BizeKatılın pic.twitter.com/bAfrX3Hea8— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 24, 2022
Kılıçdaroğlu said that money was being smuggled into the U.S. through the pro-government TÜRGEV and Ensar foundations. “We have the documents [to prove the scheme] and the money flows," Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The main opposition leader further said that Erdoğan's family set up a trust fund in the U.S. and transferred over $60 million through TÜRGEV and Ensar.
TÜRGEV is known for its close links to the government as President Erdoğan’s daughter Esra Albayrak and his son Bilal Erdoğan hold executive positions at the foundation.
"They are establishing a foundation in the U.S. Why the U.S.? You expect those who have turned this country into Qatar to go to Qatar. However, they know that there is no law in those countries. They think that they can hide behind U.S. law. There is rule of law there. They want to flee the country they destroyed unlawfully to seek refuge in law in the U.S.," Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Giving more details, Kılıçdaroğlu said: "They are establishing a trust foundation [in the U.S.]. They put an American citizen to run it. The real management of the foundation belongs to the Erdoğan family members. This trust foundation needs money to have [residency and work] permits issued. Two foundations are selected from Turkey. Foundations that they pretend to have set up for students. You will learn the real reason for their existence today. They have been transferring money to the American citizen."
Following Kılıçdaroğlu's statements, CHP Party Assembly Member Emre Yılmaz shared some documents on his Twitter account that detailed the money transactions from TÜRGEV and Ensar to Türken Foundation, a New York-based foundation that is known to be run by people close to Erdoğan.
TÜRGEV ve ENSAR’dan giden paralar 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/gDLqdzn9YE— Emre Yılmaz (@emreylmz33) May 24, 2022
Meanwhile, Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik accused Kılıçdaroğlu of carrying out a "slander campaign" against the government. Çelik, who participated in a live broadcast late on May 24, stated that TÜRGEV and Ensar foundations carry out their activities in a legal way in the U.S.
"The whole world knows what activities they are doing. They were established so that students do not fall into FETÖ's networks. The income and expenses of these foundations are within the knowledge of all countries," Çelik said, in reference to the Gülen network which is called as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) by Ankara.
Moreover, Ensar Foundation issued a written statement, saying that Kılıçdaroğlu's "irrational and inconsistent allegations have no legal basis and resemble the image of a FETÖ plot."