Indictment alleges corruption in state tender

Forty-one suspects, including the former head of the Turkish Aviation Board (THK) and his son, were claimed to have received bribes from French-based aviation company Eurocopter in a state tender in 2013 in which the Ministry of Health leased 17 ambulance helicopters, according to the media.
Former THK President Osman Yildirim and his son Emre Yildirim have reportedly been charged with corruption, acquiring unjustified gains and preparing forged documents. According to a recent indictment, a partnership established between a THK subsidiary and a private company was awarded a tender by the Health Ministry for the lease of 17 ambulance helicopters in 2013. While the partnership, on behalf of the ministry, procured the helicopters from Eurocopter, the French company, in return, paid 2.5 percent of the price to a Turkish company affiliated with Emre Yildirim for purported and”consultancy services.and” The indictment said Eurocopter paid some TL 2.7 million in consultancy fees to the Turkish company, whose owner is a close friend of Emre Yildirim. The indictment further maintained the owner of the company was found to have no capacity to provide consultancy services to such a global company. Luis Alberti from Eurocopter is also among the suspects in the investigation. A torrent of graft and bribery allegations has long been occupying the agenda, with several high-ranking state officials being accused of benefitting from their posts in the bureaucracy. In December 2013, four former Cabinet ministers and some of their sons along with a number of pro-government businesspeople were charged with corruption. Even though the investigations into the charges were swiftly closed and Parliament, where the ruling party back then had outright majority, refused to refer the ministers to the top court, the ministers are well known for corruption claims that have not gone to trial yet. In the run-up to the latest parliamentary election held on June 7, almost all political parties have brought up the allegations and questioned the ruling party for its failure to refer the implicated ministers to court.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman