High ranking members of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are suing investigative journalist Pelin Ünker and her newspaper Cumhuriyet – not for inaccurate reporting, but for the “damage to their reputation” caused by their part in the international Paradise Papers investigation into offshore tax havens.
“Turkey’s former prime minister Binali Yildirim, and President Erdogan’s son-in-law and powerful treasury and finance minister Berat Albayrak, and members of their families have filed defamation actions against award-winning journalist and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists member Pelin Ünker and her newspaper, Cumhuriyet,” said an ICIJ article published on Monday.
The investigation by Ünker and Cumhuriyet, one of Turkey’s last remaining independent newspapers, had focused on “opaque dealings” by powerful individuals close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The complex web of businesses turned up in the reports suggests tax avoidance by these individuals.
They included Yıldırım, whose sons Erkam and Bülent were shown to be shareholders in