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WikiLeaks published on Monday a searchable archive of nearly 58,000 emails from the private email account of Berat Albayrak - Turkey’s incumbent energy minister and son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – revealing the influence Albayrak has in Turkey and his correspondence regarding Powertrans, a company implicated in oil imports from ISIS-controlled oil fields.
The emails encompass 16 years between April 2000 and September 23, 2016. A search by the ‘Powertrans’ keyword in the published WikiLeaks emails returns 32 results, including emails sent to Albayrak regarding personnel and salary issues at Powertrans.
Turkey banned oil transportation by road or railway in or out of the country in November 2011, but included a provision in the same bill that it could revoke the ban in specific cases, such as meeting the needs of the military. The Turkish government later gave exclusive privilege to Powertrans for transit of oil, WikiLeaks says.
Allegations that Erdogan and members of his family are linked to ISIS oil trade are not new. Last year, almost to the date, opposition lawmaker Eren Erdem said he would soon provide proof of Erdogan’s role in the smuggling of Islamic State oil. Just two weeks later Erdem found himself facing charges of treason.
In October 2014, the U.S. Department of The Treasury published remarks by the then U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, who is now deputy director at the CIA. Cohen said in 2014:
“According to our information, as of last month, ISIL was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transported the oil to be resold. It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.