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Wikileaks and The Press Project exposes Erdogan’s connection to ISIS oil trade

Wikileaks emails connect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the ISIS oil trade.

Alex Christoforou

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It is accepted knowledge that Turkey’s strong man leader Erdogan has been benefiting in various ways from the ISIS oil trade, though no concrete smoking gun has ever surfaced to connect Erdogan directly to ISIS oil revenue…until now.

In a post from Thanos Kamilalis on The Press Project, Erdogan is directly connected to the ISIS oil trade via Wikileaks emails. Follow the money.

Exclusive: WikiLeaks documents highlight sinister relations between Erdogan and ISIS

The connection of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan΄s family with the oil smuggling of the “Islamic State” is revealed after Wikileaks΄ revealing of emails from the Turkish energy minister, and Erdoğan΄s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak. Albayrak΄s emails seem to confirm the not-so-recent accusations, since the energy minister is appealing to be the “unofficial” owner of the oil company Powertrance which is importing oil from the Isis΄ land in Northern Irak to Turkey.

by Thanos Kamilalis

At the end of September 2015 a Turkish Marxist hacking organization,   Red Hack, claimed that it has access to almost 20 gigabyte of data from  Albayrak’s personal email accounts. Information and articles regarding the email’s content began to go online, however the Turkish justice  system decided against the publication and reproduction of the emails, thus implying their authenticity. The newest accusations that the Turkish government   -and, specifically,   members of Erdogan’s family- has an active role in the oil smuggling from areas that are controlled by the “Islamic State”, were between the most important subjects that were temporarily released. The leaking of all the emails from the Turkish energy minister by Wikileaks seem to confirm these allegations.

The accusations against the Turkish government -and most specifically, Albayrak- became even more intense after the shooting down of the Russian aircraft by the Turkish forces on the 24th of November 2015. As well as imposing sanctions to Turkey, Russia also accused Erdogan and his family of involvement in the oil smuggling. In order to support those accusations, Russia delivered satellite images which reveal the routes of the oil from the ISIS grounds to Turkey.  A similar research was conducted by the ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and came to the conclusion that the oil transported from the “Islamic State’s” territories to Turkey is sold in low price. Meanwhile, the American government has also mentioned the ISIS’ oil ends up, through a process, in Turkey. The Turkish president vowed to resign if these allegations correspond to reality.

Albayrak’s emails do indeed prove the Russian accusations, and so do the various international media features which connected him to the oil smuggling. Albayrak appears to act as the unofficial consultant of the oil company Powertrans, which by law is the only oil company allowed to import and export oil to and from Turkey. In about 32 subjected Powertrans emails which he has received, he is asked for his opinion regarding the future actions of the company and his approval in matters such as the organization chart, and the hiring and wages of new executives.

Powertrans’ oil monopoly

The ownership of Powertrans is not clear. As World Policy analyzes, the equities of the company have weirdly “travelled” from Istanbul to Singapore  and from there to the Virgin Islands. The published  information suggests that the real owner of Powertrans is now Calik Holding, behind which stands Albayrak.

In spite of this fact though, the Turkish government has offered Powertrans the monopoly in oil importing and exporting, in a case which often reminds the “photographic” laws and amendments that are often met in Greece. In November 2011, the Turkish government voted for a law that bans every kind of oil transport in and outside of the country. In the same law, there was a provision of an exception if the oil transportation would serve the interests of the country. A few months later, Erdogan’s government decided to give the exclusive privilege of oil commerce to Powertrans, which he expanded by law, in 2014, by giving the company the monopoly as well.

In the leaked emails published by The Press Project’s official partner, Wikileaks, the connection between the turkish Energy minister , and Erdogan’s son-in-law, with Calik Holding and Powertrans seems rather clear. There are about 30 emails which Albayrak exchanges with Betül Yılmaz  -officially the human resources manager of Calik Holding. In almost every conversation between them, the subject is clearly Powertrans, while  Yilmaz is constantly asking for his approval in any company’s staff change, mentioning -for example- the planning of the organization chart, the future hirings and wages. The email exchange between Albayrak and Yilmaz lasts for three years, from 2012 until 2015. In another email, dated August 9th 2015, Albayrak talks with Ekrem Keleş who used to work for Calik Holding and is now a member of the staff of Powertrans, The two men discussed the marketing strategy of the company in Northern Iraq.

Perhaps the most strange result, regarding Albayrak’s relation to Powertrans, in the emails is found in a conversation of the Turkish Energy minister and his lawyer, Mustafa Doğan Inal. The two men talk ahead of a rebuttal statement regarding the relations between Albayrak and Powertrans.  Doğan Inal had written that “my client has no longer any ties to the company” and Albayrak corrects him by writing “what is that supposed to mean? I never had any ties to the company!”. The rebuttal statement was going to be published in the end of 2015, while Albayrak denied his connection to the company again in October 2016, after the Redhack attack. There are of course tens of emails which mention the company and prove the opposite. However, given that  any mentioning of Powertrans stop after the conversation with his lawyer about the rebuttal, there is a chance that Albayrak either pulled out of the company, or kept a distance from its management, under the pressure of the allegations.

Oil: Isis’ treasure

Although in the past weeks the reporting of international media mention that, due to its retreat, ISIS has -partially or totally- the control of important oil wells, for more than two years oils smuggling was the basic financing of this terrorist group. In 2014, The Guardian presented a graphic with the oil transporting routes, from the ISIS to Turkey, Iran and Jordan.

In October 2015, the Financial Times revealed that the average production of the ISIS’ oil was 34.000-40.000 barrels per day, which they sold for 20-45 dollars each. This meant that they had 1,5 million dollars daily income from oil, which was used to fund their fighters in military and terrorist operations.   In July 2016, the Washington Post presented satellite photos and claimed that the “Islamic State’s” income from oil have decreased by almost 50% but remain high, at about 20 million dollars per month.

The route of oil from the ISIS-controlled oil wells to Turkey was revealed by satellite photos which were published by Russia in December 2015. According to Russia, the oil is transported by third routes.

– The west route, which starts at the “capital” of the ISIS, Rakka, and goes through the camp of Azaz in the Turkish border. From there, the oil is transported -according to the Russian Defense ministry- to Reyhanli and then parts of it are channeled to the Turkish market while the rest reaches the Mediterranean via the ports of  Iskenderun and Dortyol.

– Another central route starts from Deir Ez-zour in Syria, goes through the Al-Qamishli area and from there to the Turkish town of Batman.

– The third route, according to the Russian ministry, runs from Eastern Syria and West Iraq to the Southeastern corner of Turkey.

The photos and documents presented by Russia and the international Media show that ISIS’ oil ends up in various areas of Turkey and the only company that -based on the Turkish legislation- can realize this transportation is Powertrans. Until today, Albayrak and Erdogan refuse any relation to this company. The emails of the Turkish minister of Energy, prove the opposite.

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US Sanctions Foster Emergence of Multipolar World

US sanctions negatively affect the economies of the targeted countries, but they also push the nations hit by them to move closer to each other.

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Authored by Arkady Savitsky via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Russia, Iran, China, and now Turkey are in the same boat, as all have become the target of US sanctions. But none of those nations has bowed under the pressure. Russia had foreseen the developments in advance and took timely measures to protect itself. The Turkish national currency, the lira, is plummeting now that Washington has introduced sanctions as well as tariffs on steel and aluminum, in an attempt to compel Ankara to turn over a detained American pastor. Turkish President Erdogan said it was time for Turkey to seek “new friends,” and Turkey is planning to issue yuan-denominated bonds to diversify its foreign borrowing instruments. On Aug. 11, President Erdogan said Turkey was ready to begin using local currencies in its trade with Russia, China, Iran, Ukraine, and the EU nations of the eurozone.

The recent BRICS summit reaffirmed Ankara’s commitment to the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) that is geared toward de-dollarizing its member states’ economies, and the agreement to quickly launch a Local Currency Bond Fund gives that policy teeth. Turkey has also expressed its desire to join BRICS.

Ankara is gradually moving toward membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). It has been accepted as a dialog partner of that organization. Last year Turkey became a dialog partner with ASEAN. On Aug. 1, the first ASEAN-Turkey Trilateral Ministerial Meeting was held in Singapore, bringing together Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt ÇavuşoğluASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is serving as the 2018 ASEAN term chairman. The event took place under the auspices of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that attracted foreign ministers and top diplomats from 30 countries.

Ankara is mulling over a free-trade area (FTA) agreement with the Eurasian Union. This cooperation between Ankara and the EAEU has a promising future.

Meanwhile, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has provided a $3.6-billion loan package for the Turkish energy and transportation sector. Turkey and China have recently announced an expansion of their military ties. As one can see, Turkey is inexorably pivoting from the West to the East.

Russia has a special role to play in this process. The US Congress has prohibited the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey because of the risk associated with Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 air-defense system. In response, Turkey is contemplating a purchase of Russian warplanes. Ankara prefers Russian weapons over the ones offered by NATO states. As President Erdogan put it, “Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives.”

On Aug. 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan discussed the prospects for boosting economic cooperation. Both nations are parties to the ambitious Turkish Stream natural-gas pipeline project. Ideas for ways to join forces in response to the US offensive were also on the agenda during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Turkey, Aug. 13-14, although Syria was in the spotlight of the talks. One mustn’t forget that Russia was the first country to be visited by the Turkish president after the failed 2016 coup.

As a result of some tough times resulting from US sanctions, Iran is redoubling its efforts at building foreign relationships. Under US pressure, European companies are leaving Iran, with China gradually filling the void. Now that US and European airspace companies are moving their business ventures out of Iran, this presents a good opportunity for Russian aircraft, such as the MS-21 or IL-96-400M. The Russian automaker GAZ Group is ready to supply Iran with commercial vehicles and light trucks powered by 5th generation engines.

Tehran is an observer state in the SCO, and it is to become an essential hub for the Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI). On June 25, a freight train arrived in the Iranian city of Bandar-e Anzali, a port on the Caspian Sea, having passed through the China-Kazakhstan-Iran transportation corridor and entering the Anzali Free Zone that connects China to both the Kazakh port of Aktau and to Iran, thus creating a new trade link to the outside world. This gives a boost to the BRI. On Aug. 12, the five littoral states (the Caspian Five) signed the Caspian Sea Convention — the fruit of 22 years of difficult negotiations. This opens up new opportunities for Iran and other countries of the region as well as the BRI. The idea to form a new economic forum was floated at the Caspian Five summit.

China and Russia back the idea of Iran’s full-fledged SCO membership. In May Tehran signed an interim FTA agreement with the EAEU. Greater EAEU-BRI integration under the stewardship of the SCO is also on the horizon.

According to the Daily Express, Iran could band together with Russia and China in an anti-US alliance. Iran may also get an observer status in the CSTO. Iran-Turkey trade has recently revived, and that bilateral relationship includes burgeoning military cooperation.

Nothing can be viewed in just black and white, and every coin has two sides. The US sanctions do negatively affect the economies and finances of the targeted countries, but in the long run, they will also push the nations hit by them to move closer to each other, thus encouraging the emergence of the multipolar world the US is trying so hard to resist.

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It’s Official: ‘Britain’s Democracy Now At Risk’

It’s not just campaigners saying it any more: democracy is officially at risk, according to parliament’s own digital, culture, media and sport committee.

The Duran

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Via True Publica, authored by Jessica Garland – Electoral Reform Society:


Britain’s main campaign rules were drawn up in the late 1990s, before social media and online campaigning really existed. This has left the door wide open to disinformation, dodgy donations and foreign interference in elections.

There is a real need to close the loopholes when it comes to the online Wild West.

Yet in this year’s elections, it was legitimate voters who were asked to identify themselves, not those funnelling millions into political campaigns through trusts, or those spreading fake news.

The government trialled mandatory voter ID in five council areas in May. In these five pilot areas alone about 350 people were turned away from polling stations for not having their papers with them — and they didn’t return. In other words, they were denied their vote.

Yet last year, out of more than 45 million votes cast across the country, there were just 28 allegations of personation (pretending to be someone else at the polling station), the type of fraud voter ID is meant to tackle.

Despite the loss of 350 votes, the pilots were branded a success by the government. Yet the 28 allegations of fraud (and just one conviction) are considered such a dire threat that the government is willing to risk disenfranchising many more legitimate voters to try to address it. The numbers simply don’t add up.

Indeed, the fact-checking website FullFact noted that in the Gosport pilot, 0.4 per cent of voters did not vote because of ID issues. That’s a greater percentage than the winning margin in at least 14 constituencies in the last election. Putting up barriers to democratic engagement can have a big impact. In fact, it can swing an election.

In the run-up to the pilots, the Electoral Reform Society and other campaigners warned that the policy risked disenfranchising the most marginalised groups in society.

The Windrush scandal highlights exactly the sort of problems that introducing stricter forms of identity could cause: millions of people lack the required documentation. It’s one of the reasons why organisations such as the Runnymede Trust are concerned about these plans.

The Electoral Commission has now published a report on the ID trials, which concludes that “there is not yet enough evidence to fully address concerns” on this front.

The small number of pilots, and a lack of diversity, meant that sample sizes were too small to conclude anything about how the scheme would affect various demographic groups. Nor can the pilots tell us about the likely impact of voter ID in a general election, where the strain on polling staff would be far greater and a much broader cross-section of electors turns out to vote.

The Electoral Reform Society, alongside 22 organisations, campaigners and academics, has now called on the constitution minister to halt moves to impose this policy. The signatories span a huge cross-section of society, including representatives of groups that could be disproportionately impacted by voter ID, from Age UK to Liberty and from the British Youth Council to the Salvation Army and the LGBT Foundation.

Voters know what our democratic priorities should be: ensuring that elections are free from the influence of big donors. Having a secure electoral register. Providing balanced media coverage. Transparency online.

We may be little wiser as a result of the government’s voter ID trials. Yet we do know where the real dangers lie in our politics.

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Corrupt Robert Mueller’s despicable Paul Manafort trial nears end (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 79.

Alex Christoforou

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Paul Manafort’s legal team rested its case on Tuesday without calling a single witness. This sets the stage for closing arguments before the judge hands the case to jurors for a verdict.

Manafort’s defense opted to call no witnesses, choosing instead to rely on the team’s cross-examination of government witnesses including a very devious Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime deputy, and several accountants, bookkeepers and bankers who had financial dealings with Manafort.

Closing arguments are expected on Wednesday. Jurors may begin deliberating shortly after receiving their final instructions from judge Ellis.

Manafort case has nothing to do with Mueller’s ‘Trump-Russia collusion witch-hunt’ as the former DC lobbyist is accused of defrauding banks to secure loans and hiding overseas bank accounts and income from U.S. tax authorities.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III denied a defense motion to acquit Manafort on the charges because prosecutors hadn’t proved their case.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the circus trial of Trump’s former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, and how crooked cop Robert Mueller is using all his power to lean on Manafort, so as to conjure up something illegal against US President Donald Trump.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

Prosecutors allege he dodged taxes on millions of dollars made from his work for a Ukrainian political party, then lied to obtain bank loans when cash stopped flowing from the project.

The courtroom was sealed for around two hours Tuesday morning for an unknown reason, reopening around 11:30 a.m. with Manafort arriving around 10 minutes later.

The decision to rest their case without calling any witnesses follows a denial by Judge T.S. Ellis III to acquit Manafort after his lawyers tried to argue that the special counsel had failed to prove its case at the federal trial.

The court session began at approximately 11:45 a.m.:

“Good afternoon,” began defense attorney Richard Westling, who corrected himself and said, “Good morning.”

“I’m as surprised as you are,” Judge Ellis responded.

Ellis then heard brief argument from both sides on the defense’s motion for acquittal, focusing primarily on four counts related to Federal Savings Bank.

Federal Savings Bank was aware of the status of Paul Manafort’s finances,” Westling argued. “They came to the loans with an intent of doing business with Mr. Manafort.”

Prosecutor Uzo Asonye fired back, saying that that even if bank chairman Steve Calk overlooked Manafort’s financial woes, it would still be a crime to submit fraudulent documents to obtain the loans.

“Steve Calk is not the bank,” Asonye argued, adding that while Caulk may have “had a different motive” — a job with the Trump administration — “I’m not really sure there’s evidence he knew the documents were false.”

Ellis sided with prosecutors.

The defense makes a significant argument about materiality, but in the end, I think materiality is an issue for the jury,” he said, adding. “That is true for all the other counts… those are all jury issues.”

Once that exchange was over, Manafort’s team was afforded the opportunity to present their case, to which lead attorney Kevin Downing replied “The defense rests.

Ellis then began to question Manafort to ensure he was aware of the ramifications of that decision, to which the former Trump aide confirmed that he did not wish to take the witness stand.

Manafort, in a dark suit and white shirt, stood at the lectern from which his attorneys have questioned witnesses, staring up at the judge. Ellis told Manafort he had a right to testify, though if he chose not to, the judge would tell jurors to draw no inference from that. – WaPo

Ellis asked Manafort four questions – his amplified voice booming through the courtroom:

Had Manafort discussed the decision with his attorney?

“I have, your honor,” Manafort responded, his voice clear.

Was he satisfied with their advice?

“I am, your honor,” Manafort replied.

Had he decided whether he would testify?

“I have decided,” Manafort said.

“Do you wish to testify?” Ellis finally asked.

“No, sir,” Manafort responded.

And with that, Manafort returned to his seat.

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