CHP asks about Soma Holding-TÜRGEV relations

May 18, 2014, Sunday/ 16:59:04/ TODAY'S ZAMAN / ISTANBUL
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu has questioned claims about the controversial relations between Soma Holding and the Foundation of Youth and Education in Turkey (TÜRGEV), of which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal is an executive board member.

Addressing ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Manisa deputy and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, Tanrıkulu's parliamentary question asked whether CEO Gürkan had made any donations to Bilal Erdoğan's foundation within the last five years and if so, what the amount was.

Tanrıkulu also brought forth the operations of the construction companies which Gürkan either owns directly or has shares in and asked which Treasury lands had been sold or leased to these companies and what the total size of these lands was.

The question included the claims that Tilaga İnşaat, a construction company under Soma Holding, had granted shares to some high-ranking AK Party members in large projects, including Spine Tower in İstanbul's burgeoning Maslak zone and in a shopping mall in Kartal.

“If these claims are true, who are these AK Party members who received free shares?” Tanrıkulu asked, also demanding to learn the reason why the website of Spine Tower was hastily closed on May 13, the day of the mining disaster. “Why did company officials lie to deny Soma Holding's ownership in Spine Tower?” Tanrıkulu asked.

The CHP deputy also asked Arınç about the incentives granted to Soma Holding, the loans delivered to its companies from a public bank and the conditions of these loans as well as the amount of tax reductions in their favor in the last five years.
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