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Last November 29, Metin Cihan, an excellent investigator and whistle blower started a discussion thread beginning with “Do you know Erişah Arıcan?”  We would like to share the translation of the information he reveals in this series of tweets.

But first, read what follows for a reminder and a better understanding:

  • On September 27 2018, Erişah Arıcan, an academic, becomes the President of ‘Borsa Istanbul’, the Turkish stock exchange located in Istanbul, some 10% of the shares of which were recently sold to Qatar. Erişah Arıcan is also a member of the TWF board of governors.
  • TWF, the Turkey Wealth Fund, is a joint-stock company founded in 2016. Its objective is “supporting the development of the Turkish economy” and it holds a portfolio of public shares in 20 companies in 8 sectors of activity, 2 licenses in betting games and real estate, and administered 177 billion Turkish lira in 2020. [The companies are listed here].
  • The TWF is managed by Zafer Sönmez and presided by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in person and, from 2018 to November 27 2020, its vice-president was none other than Erdoğan’s son-in-law and former Treasury and Finance Minister, Berat Albayrak who decided to resign from his job by publishing a message on his Instagram account.
  • Prior to reading what follows, we should also bear in mind that on September 24 2016, Berat Albayrak, who was already Erdoğan son-in-law and Minister of Energy, had the entire content of his email stolen by the RedHack who demanded in exchange “the liberation of all leftist opponents before 5PM on September 27 2016”. After that delay, the group made public more than 5 000 messages in a mail fil of 20Go, copied by them and now available on Wikileaks, in the file labelled “Berat’s Box“.

“Do you know Erişah Arıcan?”

The original of the discussion thread is available here on Metin Cihan’s Twitter account.

The thread begins on November 29 2020

■ “Do you know Erişah Arıcan? I did not know her either before reading Albayrak’s email box, open to all. This is where I learned that Mister Berat Albayrak owed his “Dr” title to this lady. Then, noticing her name in third position in the leadership of TWF, right after Erdoğan and Albayrak, I thought, here we go!

 

■ Then Berat Albayrak resigned. Erişah Arıcan became the second in line. Moreover, since 2018, Erişah Arıcan heads the stock exchange. As you know, last week the YWF sold part of the Istanbul stock exchange to Qatar. Seeing the entanglement of personalities and institutions, I decided to dig a bit deeper.

 

■  I attempted to understand how things work at the top. I am here in order to share all of this with you. If you have a bit of time, I would like to back up a bit first.

 

■ In 2008, the associate professor designated for Berat Albayrak’s thesis defense was Dr. Hasan Eken. Mr. Berat Albayrak did not appear before the monitoring committee. In January 2009, he received an email from the school. “Your thesis director Prof. Dr. Hasan Eken summons you to appear.” Berat Albayrak preferred to ignore the message. Link to e-mail

 

■ A new email arrives in October 2009. “Your request concerning a change in thesis director and the assignment of Mrs Erişah Arıcan to this position is accepted.” Mr. Berat Albayrak had thus preferred changing interlocutor rather than responding to the summons of his former thesis director, and had succeeded in doing so.

 

■ On June 2 2019, the new thesis director sent Mr. Albayrak an email. She forwarded the file that she had prepared herself and that would be submitted to the thesis commission. Mr. Albayrak is lucky. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a director who prepares the thesis for you. Link

 

■ On June 28 2010, Mrs. Erişah Arıcan, while preparing Mr. Berat Albayrak’s thesis, requests his intervention at a meeting in Ankara, concerninga person with whom she is in conflict. Son-in-law Berat, who had no official functions at the time, responds favorably. Link

 

■ July 2010. Mrs Erişah Arıcan tells Mr. Albayrak “I am sending you the thesis under the file labelled bretonwoods”. Which means his professor wrote the thesis Mr. Albayrak was supposed to write, and is submitting it to his approval. And she doesn’t omit thanking him for the gifts offered to her colleagues at this time. Link

 

■ Days go by, Erişah Arıcan goes on sending regular reports. She informs him on the progress of the thesis she continues writing. Likk 1Link 2Link 3

 

■ On November 22 2019, the professor directing his thesis writes to her student: “The thesis is finished. All that is left are the corrections. If you cannot handle them, we will take care of them ourselves.” Link

 

■ And we understand, from another mail on the same day (November 22) that Mr. Berat Albayrak does not handle the corrections on the thesis written for him and sent to him by his professor. Someone by the name of Mehmet Muş takes care of this for him, with his team. Does the name Mehmet Muş strike you as familiar? Link

 

■ Mehmet Muş is a very nasty fellow because during this same period, he had addressed himself to “Mr” Berat Albayrak by calling him “big bro”. He is currently a member of the governors of the AKP and vice-president of the AKP’s parliamentary group. Link

Kedistan offers you the content of this mail (from the corrector) and attempts to keep some of its original flavor: “Big bro, salaam aleikum. When I sent you a mail yesterday, as can be seen below, I involuntarily only used your first name. Big bro, this was totally in error. I just realized it and I’m terribly embarrassed. Big bro Berat. Big bro, really, I felt ill when I noticed it. I apologize. May your Friday be blessed.”

■ We are not daydreaming. Thanks to the help he received from Mrs Erişah Arıcan and Mr. Batu and Mr. Güçlü (which is clearly expressed in the mail), Mr. Berat Albayrak obtained his title of “Dr.” I admit I have not dug any deeper for Sirs Batu and Güçlü. I don’t know what has become of them now, if you find anything, please share. Link

 

■ Mrs Erişah Arıcan even sends her student the summary of the thesis he must submit. Link

 

■ And sooooo, Mrs Erişah who is so helpful would also have answered some of the requirements expressed by Monsieur le Ministre. In her own way, she identifies leftists, Free Masons, Grey Wolves in her university and turns their names over to Mr. Berat. Link

 

■ When we come to 2015, we see that the exchanges between Erişah Arıcan and Berat Albayrak are about inter-Party activities. Mrs Erişah informs Berat Albayrak, whom she now calls “Venerable Master” on Kurdish “opinion leaders. Link

 

■ Prior to writing all this, I wanted more information on Erişah Arıcan. But for some reason, everywhere I looked, her CV begins in 1988 at Marmara University. Where was she born? Where did she obtain her license. Non-existent information.

 

■ I didn’t find anything for the longest time. I was losing my mind over it. The woman’s life seemed to begin with her university research mission. I’m not exaggerating. Try searching, you will see. Anyway, later in an information article, I at least found out she was born in Derik, Mardin district. Given the lack of information, this was precious.


On November 30, Metin continues…

■ Copies of Mrs Erişah’s CV show up in many places, but they all begin with her university research in 1988. No information on her license. She is hiding it. Why? I’ve done a lot of searching to no avail. Please help me.

 

■ We have at least found out she was born in Derik. Let’s take it from there.

 

■ Hoping to find information on her license, I searched for traces in Derik. Found nothing. But I was able to confirm she is from Derik, And even, on Facebook, the proud comment by someone from her part of the country, “Erişah Arıcan of the Xıdran (Hıdıran) tribe heads the stock market,” thus also telling me the name of her tribe.

 

■ I looked up the Xıdran tribe. I found detailed information on the website of people from Derik. The content did not hold my attention but when I saw the signature at the end of the article, I said to myself, great, here we go! It was written by Hasan Eken. You remember, Berat Albayrak’s first thesis director. He is from Derik also.

 

■ I searched to see where Prof. Dr. Hasan Eken would find himself these days. He has become the chief advisor to Kılıçdaroğlu [the General secretary of the People’s Republican Party – CHP]. Which is to say that the professor who was demanding a thesis in conformity with the procedure is now Kılıçdaroğlu’s advisor…And the professor who wrote Berat Albayrak’s thesis for him is now in the leadership of the TWF and head of the stock market.

 

■ I also see that Berat and his brother Serhat Albayrak obtained their “Dr” titles in the same place. Both of the thesis directors are from Derik. One occupies the second place after Erdoğan at the TWF, the other is advisor to Kılıçdaroğlu. Note: Erişah Arıcan is again the one who supervised from the shadows Serhat Albayrak’s thesis. The documents appear below.

albayrak

 

■ Erhan Eroğlu a teacher at Kadir Has University, adds the following to Erişah Arıcan’s becoming Berat Albayrak’s thesis director. “With Erişah you will be a Dr in a year, Dr. Berat Albayrak” and he adds that Serhat Albayrak also became a Dr with Erişah’s help. Link

 

■ Then a teacher at Kadir Has University, Erhan Eroğlu send his student Berat Albayrak the questions for the exam. “Inch’Allah, you will pass this time” he says and adds a note at the end of his mal “this must remain between us, even your closest kin must not know”. Link

 

■ Then, Erhan Eroğlu who helps Mr. Berat in obtaining his Ph.d and even provides him with exam questions when required, also has requests. For example, he has a dream: becoming a pilot. His wish is granted. He is hired, yes, yes. Link

In one of his mails, Erhan Eroğlu tells Berat Albayrak: “I went to the appointment thanks to your intervention. But since I had never seen a cockpit before, I didn’t get a very good result on the simulation test…”

■ All right, let’s get back to Erişah Arıcan. The one who was thesis director to the Minister of Finance who signed the country’s economic collapse, but also of Murat Uysal, the director of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (TCMB) who was relieved of his duties on November 7 2020. She personally wrote Albayrak’s thesis, as for Uysal’s, it turned out to have been plagiarized. Yet, Erisah is still an authority in the economy.

 

■ The fact may not be terribly important in itself, but since she insists on hiding it, it arouses curiosity. Where did Erişah Arıcan obtain her license? You cannot find it either? In a private message, I was informed that her name at birth was Abdurrahimoğlu. This was not enough to achieve some progress.

A few days later, we discover with Metin that Erişah Arıcan has been hiding her university past because she would have obtained her diploma through …a correspondence course…

Metin Cihan picks up the thread on December 1st 2020…

■ Three academics write a student’s thesis and, in exchange, receive gifts. You are now familiar with Erişah Arıcan. She heads the stock market and the TFW. The two others, Batu Tunay and Güçlü Okay are currently executives at the “School of banking and insurance” of Marmara University. E-mail images

 

■ This may be slightly off topic but…Every month, money drawn from our pockets enters Erişah Arıcan’s wallet. They have called this a “Right to Serenity”. The directorate at the Borsa Istanbul set the monthly amount itself: 24 000 Turkish lira (approximately 2 500€)

bourse turquie

Decision taken on 14.04.2020 for the allowance of monthly “Right to Serenity” allowance , for the Borsa’s director, 24 000 TL and for members of the board of governors 18 000 TL.

December 2, the story continues

■ The information has come in. A cross-check with the emails provided a confirmation. Guess what? He taught courses at Marmara University on: “How to write a thesis”. Coordinator: Erişah Arıcan. The course was offered by: Berat Albayrak.

Erişah Arıcan, “I’m sending you the list of all the identity numbers of students that have participated in the course up until now”. [Kedistan: sending ID numbers to a prof!?]

Metin Cihan doesn’t give up, we are now on December 3

■ We greet Fahrettin Altun to the series. The day after requesting that the citizens each donate 10 Turkish lira for the solidarity campaign “Biz bize yeteriz” (We are self-sufficient) [in order to replenish the coffers for the fight against the pandemic] on Erişah Arıcan’s proposal, they decided to add the “Right to Serenity” to other salaries, 24 000 TL for the director and 18 000 TL for members of the board of governors… tax-exempt.

A slight clarification:

Fahrettin Altun heads the Communication Directorate of the President of the Turkish Republic, founded on July 24 201. With the following mission: “Establishing deep and multilateral relationships with public opinion, deciders and national and international media; insuring a qualified representation of Turkey in all areas through the use of tools and methods of communication, and consequently ‘reinforcing the Turkey label”.

The TRT stations but also Anadolu Agency (AA) “Their Master’s Voice” that our dear French-language media relay without any qualms in France are all linked to this young “institution”. The very one that delivers Turkish press cards.

No surpise if the famous salaried trolls of the regime are under the orders of that same house…

Of course, they don’t leave Metin alone…

… ■ I think they are attempting to hack my account. I’m receiving security warnings. If I lose everything in my attempt to protect my account, don’t hold it against me. But they mustn’t overdo it either. I’ll go have a drink of water and come back with a new account. Whatever hapens, I will go on writing. Knowing truths is everyone’s right.

… ■ All is well. Apparently there is no problem. I’ve increased the security on my account, but it might still happen anyway. At the same time, I don’t worry over it too much… In any event, it was something like an ad break, sorry about that.

December 8

Metin explains how his curiosity was raised and how he started exploring the topic, how he goes about it, attempts to cross-reference the information he finds in the emails with other sources and testimonials… He adds “in fact, I’m curious, I search, I investigate, I find, I share. I think everyone is entitled to know everything. That is my ‘secret’ 🙂 Besides, I have fun when I see the communication contorsions the Communication Director Fahrettin Altun goes through with attempts at responses from the 25-story building and the house on the shores of the Bosphorus, and through salaried trolls acting as go-betweens.”

Metin then shares Twitter statistics. Indeed, the discussion thread has been viewed close to 6 million times. Metin emphasizes that although Prof Hasan Eken, Berat Albayrak’s first thesis director, replaced at his request by Erişah Arıcan, has confirmed that events happened exactly in the way we have so clearly followed through the exchange of emails, the media do not dare carry the information and no prosecutor has opened an inquest.

Metin CihanIn a tweet, he addresses Fetullah Altun directly:

■ Since Erişah Arıcan is not a Twitter user, I put the question directly to Fetullah Altun, a member of the stock exchanges’s board of governors. You have thus taken the decision of allocating yourself a salary + 18 000 TL tax-free as a monthly “Right to serenity” + plus an official car / all expenses, and all this free of every fiscal imposition? …And the director is Erişah Arıcan in person?

 

■ I add here the document of this decision @fahrettinaltun, so that you may go deeper into silence… Look, in April while the people were convulsing under the pandemic, how could you hold a meeting to extend such privileges to yourself. When will you be satiated? Link to the document

 

■ Do not think I am receiving files… I was vacuuming when I suddenly thought about it, I typed “Istanbul stock exchange minutes board of governors” on google. That’s all. Try it and see… Link + archival link in case the document disappears

 

■ The media are starting to talk about it now. The CHP deputy, Özgür Özel displays the document and explains the details during a press conference. The topic is finally going beyond social networks.

 

■ Fahrettin Altun declares that he has received “Right to Serenity” payments from the Istanbul stock exchange for the past two years, but that he uses this money for charity and good deeds.

Metin continues:

■ Since there was mention of revenues entering Fahrettin Altun’s household, inevitably, the question cropped up of his wife Fatmanur Altun’s revenues as she is an independent member of the THY airline company’s board of governors. Those members receive monthly salaries + trimestrial bonuses, with a total tax exoneration. I shared the document of the decision.

 

■ Fatmanur Altun declares that she is an “independent” member and receives no payment. But the report on the THY’s activities and policies says no such thing. I also find that in 2019, THY paid its governors, director and their assistants 25,224.300 TL (equivalent to 2,656,466€). Source: the THY website

Further to all this…

THY authorities declare that Fatmanur Altun has renounced receiving these payments. Metin Cihan shares this. But…

■ From private messages, I learn that Mrs Altun truly did benefit from these payments up until now. So I ask when she gave them up. No answer.

Metin insists:

■ Since Fatmanur Altun has blocked me on Twitter, I cannot ask her myself. Please ask her.

fatmanur altunTweets rain down labelled with her name and repeating the same question…

Today, an “offended” Fatmanur Altun reacts on her Twitter account, in a rather unplesant, polarizing and presumptuous post:

“I see that once again, those who would strut around like Cresus if they were in the same position, consider those of our environment worthless. Even my declaration of renouncing to my salary did nothing to reduce their hatred. These are people which, once you give a hand want an arm, blind to their own faults, jealous and indecent.”

One of her fans advises her: “If I were you, I would wear a very expensive fur and drive them even crazier.” And Fatmanur responds with a happy emoji.

Let’s stop here!

Since the time has come to publish this article. While we were writing it, information from Metin continued. In Turkey, everyone belonging to the presidential caste is related to another, everything is tangled. As you can see, as soon as you go through one door, revelations reveal another door to push…

No doubt about it, Berat Albayrak’s emails are a trove in which to discover treasures of embezzlements, corruptions, misappropriations…And he was the Minister of the Economy.

And that is how the economy proceeds in Turkey under the leadership of its most serene authorities. All of them with doctorates….From the President down to the Ministers, chocolate diplomas appear on every shelf. True enough, since the President got angry at his friend Gülen, grey matter, be it of the brotherhood kind, has somewhat melted in the ranks of the State’s administration. What is also remarkable here is how it brings to light the functioning of the cartel. And, we have no doubt, prosecutions will be launched against…the whistleblowers.

Do you know Erişah Arıcan? Yes, now you know a bit about her.

Finally, how many are there like her in the State machinery? We can’t know them all.


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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*A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI…
 
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