Bilal Erdogan, the son of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is under investigation in Italy over a money laundering case.
The Bologna public prosecutor has opened a file on B. Erdogan, 35, after a key opponent of the Turkish President, Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan, accused Bilal of bringing to Italy large amounts of money to recycle them.
Uzan, is an exiled political opponent of Erdogan and he is wanted by Turkish authorities. He formed a petition asking from the Italian police to investigate the potential sums of money brought to Italy by Bilal.
Bilal has been studying at John Hopkins University in Bologna since last autumn and according to the Italian news agency, ANSA, he rejected the accusations and said that he came to Italy to resume his PhD studies who began in 2007.
British daily, The Independent, reported that the Italian authorities are investigating Uzan’s claim that the money bought to Italy, may relate to a massive political corruption scandal in Turkey. In 2013, a scandal implicating governmental officials came into surface in Turkey and in 2014, a secretly taped telephone conversations leaked on the internet suggested that R. Erdogan told his son to dispose large amounts of hidden funds from their private home in the midst of the corruption investigation. The now Turkish President, said from the beginning that the tapes were fabricated.
The 2013 scandal was about an illegal oil deal with Iran. The oil was allegedly paid through illegal channels in gold, due to UN sanctions on Iran. The accused, which included the sons of three ministers of Erdogan’s government, have been charged with money laundering, bribery and fraud. Later on Bilal was also called for questioning by the Turkish authorities about the same case, but no charges were announced.
Bilail is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He graduated from Kartal Imam Hatip High School in 1999, and then moved to the US for undergraduate education. He earned a Masters Degree in John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004 and after his graduation, he served in the World Bank as an intern. He returned Turkey in 2006 and he is now one of the three equal shareholders of “BMZ Group Denizcilik,” a marine transportation corporation.