Prime-Minister Binali Yıldırım, who was revealed to have five companies in Malta along with his sons Erkam and Bülent Yıldırım in the Paradise Papers leaks that were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with 96 media organisations of which Cumhuriyet is also a media partner, is suing our newspaper along with his sons for 500,000 lira in non-material damages citing an attack on his personal rights. Non-material damages of 250,000 lira are claimed for Binali Yıldırım, 125,000 lira for Erkam Yıldırım and 125,000 lira for Bülent Yıldırım. It was asserted that the reports, “were put together with intent to insult and vilify by employing special emphasises.”
He first called for an investigation
Binali Yıldırım, replying to journalists’ questions before his US trip on Tuesday, consented to the existence of the companies in question and commented, “I have immunity, but my children don’t. I especially wish for an investigation to be launched.” Yıldırım, also stating that his sons were engaged in the shipping sector, said, “Shipping is a global business. There are companies and contact points in all parts of the world. There is no secret or concealed business here.” However, before a week had passed, the Prime-Minister sued for non-material damages citing an attack on his personal rights over the report we made about the companies whose existence he had asserted was normal given that this was a global business.
The documents that Süddeutsche Zeitung shared with the ICIJ of which Cumhuriyet is a media partner revealed the Yıldırım brothers to be shareholders of Black Eagle Marine Co Ltd, Hawke Bay Marine Co Ltd, South Seas Shipping NV, Nova Warrior Limited and Dertel Shipping Limited. It has emerged that Nova Warrior is connected with Oras Denizclik, which procured a tender from the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration.
The Yıldırım family, whom we contacted through lawyers prior to the publication of the report, did not reply to the detailed questions we raised about all the companies individually including Nova Warrior’s connection with Oras Denizclik.