Erdogan Calls WikiLeaks Documents “Gossip”
“I don’t have a penny in Swiss banks, and I have nothing to prove to anyone,” he told a press conference in Ankara.
Journalists described Erdogan as furious, directing his ire at the Turkish Opposition as well as the free press, which covered the WikiLeaks documents extensively, calling them “opportunists happily engaging in gossip”.
“If you prove the claims are correct, I will announce my resignation forthwith. But if the opposite turns out to be true, will you resign as well?” he asked the journalists. “The US administration must hold the writers of these cables accountable for dealing in baseless reports, slander, and libel.”
Erdogan was mainly upset about a secret document dated December 30, 2004, in which the US ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, wrote he had heard from contacts that Erdogan was holding eight bank accounts loaded with private funds in Switzerland.
Other documents revealed that US officials in contact with Erdogan tended to describe him as an “extremist” who hates Israel and surrounds himself with “fawning” aides and advisors. Memos leaked by the site says the US had defined his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, as extraordinarily dangerous.