Chairman of Koza İpek Holding Akın İpek answers pro-government press slander saying that the fact that his companies have never engaged in any wrongful practice, will reveal itself.
In the latest government-backed raid slammed across the board as an attempt to intimidate free press and free enterprise, on early Tuesday morning, teams from the Finance Ministry's Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), complete with police escort and a 4-page search warrant in hand, entered İpek Media Group, Koza İpek Holding, İpek University, Kanal Türk and Chairman Akın İpek’s own home.
In an interview on Wednesday night on Bugün TV, Koza İpek Holding, reemphasized the high standards of record keeping of the holding frequently audited, including publicly traded mining firm Koza Gold, adding that there has never been any questionable practice whatsoever, especially that would warrant a raid.
“Just as truth always reveals itself, the truth will also reveal itself here. This is why I am comfortable,” stated Chairman Akın İpek adding “Anyone can come an audit me. Everyone will see that we have an impeccable company. We spend a good portion of our income on philanthropic activities.”
The Koza İpek Holding chairman emphasized “We are one of the financially strongest companies in the country. We have been audited in the past two years like never before. They conducted the raid two days after I left. There was no information relayed over to me.”
Akın İpek also welcomed the release of the 7 executives detained on Tuesday, stating. “They are high-level individuals who have international careers. They have been subjected to an experience in the past two days that would have never crossed their minds. God willing the incident will not occur again. I am deeply saddened. But the law is still functioning. They have released our friends who had done nothing to be detained.”
In his Wednesday night interview İpek elaborated on questions about the allegations from pro-government media on Koza Gold which claim that the company had transferred a large amount of money, USD 7 billion, to banks in Bahrain, Malta and Greek Cyprus.
"As for the allegations of USD 7 billion, Koza Altın doesn't have the ability to transfer the alleged amount of money to any bank because the company's total production between 2010 and 2015 is around USD 2.5 billion. Also, USD 1.5 billion of this is allocated to investments and expenditures. This means the company's profit is around USD 250 million in total, contrary to initial claims. Koza Altın is one of the most stable companies in Turkey; its activities have been closely followed in detail. For nearly two years all of the company's activities have been examined and monitored closely. We have undergone so many inspections that we have never faced prior to two years ago," İpek underlined.
Extending his gratitude to all members of the media, including columnists who are also critical of the government, for their show of support by either calling him or condemning the government's oppression, İpek also expressed his pleasure over the release of seven high-ranking Koza İpek Holding employees who were detained following the police operation into the holding. "They are people who have worked internationally and have never been part of any wrongdoing," İpek noted.
False pro-government innuendo regarding England visit
Akın İpek also explained his visit to the United Kingdom, slamming pro-government defamation on the matter: "They alleged that I fled abroad. However, I am a businessman who spends most of his time overseas for business. I am in England attending a business program and the company is conducting a mine search here. As a part of the smear campaign, I am being asked why the holding set up a company abroad. Let me answer. I discovered oil in Turkey. Is there any other company that managed to do the same thing? However, TPAO [the Turkish Petroleum Corporation] does not want to buy the oil that our company is producing. We are facing illogicality as TPAO refuses to purchase oil drilled by a Turkish company. So, what could be more normal than opening branches abroad and having business deals with foreign companies?"
“Parallel state” tales
Commenting on the accusations leveled against him and his holding of being a member of the "parallel state," a term invented by then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in order to defame dissidents, İpek said: "This definition is currently one of the worst problems of Turkey. With these fabricated accusations, my holding and I are accused of transferring a large amount of money that never existed. I have faced oppression while seeking my rights.”
Another MASAK laughable claim
Another flimsy excuse for the operation was an erroneous 2011-dated money transfer to the bank account of the Koza-İpek Foundation (Koza-İpek Eğitim Sağlık Hizmet Yardım Vakfı) from an unrelated steel company ERDEMİR (Ereğli Demir Çelik Fabrikaları AŞ), which was caused by an IT error at the local AK Bank branch in Ankara. This fact was recognized by all parties involved, including ERDEMİR, Akbank and even the warrant.
Akın İpek reemphasized “Akbank and several other banks had to make statements saying they did not transfer the alleged amount of money from the holding's accounts. Because this money never existed. For years I have done business in Turkey. Is there any reason to make such claims of illegal business in relation to me and the holding? Despite all these smear campaigns I have never disregarded the state. We continue to do our job."
Published on BGNNews, 3 September 2015, Thursday