Russian Letter to UNSC Claims Erdogan's Family are Directing the Smuggling of ISIS Oil!

In a letter dated 29 January 2016 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council titled 'Illegal trading in hydrocarbons by ISIL,' it was reported that most hydrocarbons extracted from ISIL-controlled areas are channeled through Turkey. 

The Russian diplomatic letter, which is highly based on intelligence gatherings, reveal all the details linked to ISIL's illegal oil trade with its connection to Turkey's involvement, particularly Erdogan's family members. The letter underlines that transportation includes the use of tankers from BMZ Group Denizcilik ve İnşaat A.Ş, which is owned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan and other family members.   It is very interesting to note that, just two weeks after the Russian Federation submitted the letter to United Nations Security Council, an Italian public prosecutor opened a file on Bilal Erdogan, 35, for money laundering allegations.

According to the Independent, Giovanni Trombini, a Bologna-based lawyer representing Bilal Erdogan, acknowledged that a criminal investigation involving his client had been opened but declined to comment on the investigation.

In the Russian diplomatic letter, Turkish minister of Energy, B.Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Erdogan, has also been the target of the allegations.

The letter suggests that the crude is legalized in Turkey then ends up in different parts of the world and is virtually impossible to trace.  The letter further claims that an important source of funding is donations from private individuals and Islamic organizations, mainly from the Gulf States and Turkey. The letter asserts that under the guise of charitable work, these charities and private individuals provide assistance to fighters and, for that purpose, have opened accounts at several major Turkish banks.

Metehan Demir, the former Ankara representative of Hurriyet Daily reported that in February, American Department of Treasury informed the Turkish Government that the three major Turkish Banks in Turkey were detected for money transferring transactions with ISIL linked groups in Turkey. According to Metehan Demir's story, large amounts of money were transferred from the accounts opened in these banks to several jewelry stores located near the Syrian border. The letter goes on referring to the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute and claims that delivery of fuel trucks; trailers, semitrailers and off-road vehicles from Turkey to the Syrian Arab Republic increased nine fold from 2012 to 2015. 

'Over four years, around 400 vehicles worth US$ 7.2 million were supplied. The value of supplies for the first nine months in 2015 was US$ 3.2 million. Weapons and ammunition are provided to ISIL via uncontrolled parts of the Syrian Arab Republic's State border with Turkey and Iraq. The Syrian border crossings Bab al-Hawa (10 km south-east of Reyhanlı), Bab al-Salam (6 km northeast of Azaz) and Jerablus (105 km north-east of Aleppo) are used for the delivery of weapons and ammunition from Turkey.' the letter reports. 

Dr. Tugce Varol; academic, author and strategic analyst, who has been working on Energy Security Policies of Russia, Turkey, Middle East and Central Asia says that with the letter of Russian Federation to the United Nations on January 29th, 2016, Russia officially accused Turkey, Turkey's President and his family of being engaged in international crime by organizing an illegal trade chain.

'In the letter, it is claimed that President Erdogan's family members are directing the smuggling of ISIS oil, and Erdogan himself uses his power through Turkish energy companies and banks to provide this illegal trade functions in a triangle between ISIS dominated Syria, Kurdistan region and Turkey. Since the shot down of Russian plane by Turkey on November 2015, Moscow considers Erdogan and his family as an enemy. After the first presentation that claimed Erdogan family involved in smuggling oil trade with ISIS conducted by Russian defense ministry in Moscow, Western powers disregarded the Russian claims. However, Russia carried its accusations to UN Security Council level in order to upgrade Erdogan case international. I expect that Russia will use all the diplomatic tools to launch a serious case against Erdogan until Erdogan considered as an international criminal or lose his power in Turkey. I think that the letter of Russia was taken seriously by many countries in the UN Security Council and found support against Erdogan.'

'Sadly, the relations between Turkey and Russia stand at a point where there is no exit as long as Turkey ruled by Erdogan.' She said.