A new problem in the relations between the US and Recep Tayyip Erdogan is brought to the surface by Reuters, as, according to its investigation, the son of the Turkish president is involved in a bribery case.
Anti-corruption authorities in the US and Sweden are investigating a complaint that a subsidiary of a US company based in Sweden promised to pay tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks if Bilal Erdogan helped it secure, the report said. dominant position in the Turkish market.
Reuters reports that ultimately no kickbacks were paid, after the company, Dignita Systems AB, abandoned its ambition.
Dignita's American owner confirmed the news, speaking of a "potentially worrying turn in Turkey".
According to the report, the Turkish government was set to approve regulations that would boost sales of Dignita's product, an in-dash breathalyzer that "locks" a vehicle's ignition when the driver is drunk.
The company sought exclusivity in the Turkish market, pledging to give tens of millions to "select people" through two foundations on which Bilal is a board member.
"A web of lies" says Bilal Erdoga
Dignita CEO Anders Eriksson declined to comment on the news, saying he was leaving the company and bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
Bilal Erdogan's lawyer said the report was "completely inaccurate" and a "web of lies".
Reuters stresses that it could not independently confirm whether Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son knew about or were involved in the company's kickback scheme.
The case is of intense concern to the US and Sweden, with the two relevant justice ministries having assigned a special agent to launch investigations into whether the rules of bribery laws have been breached.
News of Sweden's preliminary investigation into Turkey's Dignita effort comes at a sensitive time in bilateral relations between Ankara and Stockholm, as Ankara sets conditions to lift its veto of Sweden's NATO membership.
Documents reportedly state that for four years the company has been trying to reach out to Erdogan and succeeded in doing so with a letter in June 2022.
It should be emphasized that this is not the first time that Bilal Erdoğan has concerned the authorities. In 2016, Italy had launched investigations, as it had information that Erdogan's son had transferred cash to the country without declaring it. The investigation was stopped due to a lack of evidence.