Monday 5 December 2016, WikiLeaks has released an authoritative, searchable archive of 57,934 emails from the personal email address of Berat Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Turkey’s Minister of Energy.
The emails span sixteen years from April 2000 to 23 September of this year (including the 15 July coup d’état) and are mostly correspondence between Albayrak and the ruling Turkish elite: politicians, businessmen and family members. The emails reveal the extensive influence Albayrak has over a wide range of areas of Turkish politics and life.
On 23 September, Redhack, a Turkish hacktivist group, announced they had obtained Albayrak’s emails and would release them on 26 September, unless the government released imprisoned leftists, specifically naming Aslı Erdoğan (no relation) and Alp Altınörs (assistant co-chairs of Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP) arrested on 16 September). When nothing was done, Redhack placed the archive on Google Drive and Dropbox. The Turkish government then censored normal internet access to Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud and Github, and arrested a number of alleged Redhack suspects. Reportage on this valuable archive has been previously hampered by censorship and lack of an authoritative, searchable, citable archive.
On 11 November 2011, the Erdoğan government passed a bill prohibiting all import, export, or transfer of oil or its by-products into or out of Turkey. But the bill also stated that the government could revoke the ban in specific cases. This exception was used to grant Powertrans the sole rights to oil transportation without holding a public tender. There have been numerous allegations in the Turkish media about Powertrans’ imports of ISIS-controlled oil to Turkey. Albayrak has repeatedly denied his connection to Powertrans, but the emails prove the opposite.
The Redhack leak was briefly publicised and led to the resignation of Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, who was one of the head executives of the biggest media conglomerate in Turkey Doğan Medya, due to the documented collaboration between him and Berat Albayrak . However, after the emails largely disappeared from the internet and the escalation of the Turkish government crackdown on the media, the emails had been effectively suppressed.
WikiLeaks’ publication of the archive today ensures the safekeeping of this historical record and the public’s proper access by making it readily searchable and citable.
"The people of Turkey need a free media and a free internet. The government’s counter-coup efforts have gone well beyond their stated purpose of protecting the State from a second Gulenist coup attempt and are now primarily used to steal assets and eliminate critics. The Turkish government continues to use force to jail journalists, shut down media and restrict internet access to its citizens, depriving them of their ability to access information about their situation including by banning WikiLeaks. This consolidation around the power vertical of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ultimately weakens Turkish institutionalism, leaving Turkey more susceptible to future coups by those in Erdoğan’s chain of command."
Read more - WikiLeaks Berat’s Box
Thursday 8 December 2016 > Türkçe
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