Turk PM in Hot Water Over Explosive Tapes With Son

Erdogan calls them fake, while opposition calls on him to resign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 12:25 PM CST
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

(Newser) – The prime minister of Turkey is furiously denouncing as fake a recording leaked online in which he and his son appear to discuss how to hide massive quantities of cash. In what Reuters describes as a "dramatic" parliament session, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the recordings were "a shameless montage" of out-of-context quotes—which he implied was assembled by his ally-turned-enemy Fethullah Gulen. A gallery packed with Erdogan fans cheered, calling out things like, "Tayyip, we came here to die with you."

On the tapes, Erdogan and his son, Bilal, discuss making about $40 million disappear from a house by giving it to various businessmen. Erdogan says his foes illegally wiretapped his phone, then deceptively edited the results. But the opposition seized on the tapes to call for Erdogan to resign. "Either you take a helicopter and flee abroad or resign," the head of the Republican People's Party said today, according to Bloomberg. Erdogan has been under a cloud of suspicion since mid-December, and has pulled shady moves like this one in response. (Read more Recep Tayyip Erdogan stories.)

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