FETÖ-linked me­dia out­let uses front com­pany in Bel­gium

FETÖ op­er­a­tives in Bel­gium es­tab­lished a front com­pany named Cas­cade In­vest­ments N.V. and al­lo­cated a sub­stan­tial part of the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion’s me­dia wing to it

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page - MEHMET SOLMAZ – BRUS­SELS

THE GÜLENIST Ter­ror Group’s (FETÖ) me­dia out­let Ci­han Me­dia Group uses Cas­cade In­vest­ments NV, which was founded by Gülenist busi­ness­men in 2006 in Bel­gium, as a front com­pany, of­fi­cial records of the com­pany ob­tained from the Bel­gian Fi­nance Min­istry show.

The cİhan Me­dia Group, which is com­prised of a sub­stan­tial part of the Gülenist Ter­ror Group’s (FETÖ) me­dia wing, was re­port­edly as­signed to a front com­pany founded by sev­eral FETÖ op­er­a­tives in Bel­gium.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial records of the com­pany Daily Sabah ob­tained from the Bel­gian Fi­nance Min­istry, the own­ers of the Cas­cade In­vest­ments NV., which brought Turkey to in­ter­na­tional tri­als, are mem­bers of an as­so­ci­a­tion founded by FETÖ-linked busi­ness­men in Bel­gium.

While the com­pany filed a com­plaint against Turkey at the In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter for Set­tle­ment of In­vest­ment Dis­putes (ICSID) for the com­pen­sa­tion of the cost of the com­pa­nies that were con­fis­cated and trans­ferred to the Sav­ing De­posit and In­sur­ance Fund (TMSF) and de­manded a multi-mil­lion euro set­tle­ment, it was re­vealed that a ju­di­cial process was ini­ti­ated against Turkey on Feb. 28.

FrauD con­cocTeD STep-By-STep

Mehmet Akif Afşar, the ex­ec­u­tive chair of the Feza Me­dia Group, which in­cludes the now-de­funct Za­man daily, as­signed the as­sets of the com­pany to the Bel­gian Cas­cade com­pany in re­turn for a check be­fore a state trustee was ap­pointed to the me­dia group. Afşar, whose prop­er­ties were con­fis­cated on Dec. 22, 2016, is be­ing sought for his links to the ter­ror­ist group.

The checks were not ac­cepted and the cash flow did not move from the Bel­gium-based front com­pany to the me­dia group. Mean­while, it turned out that the build­ings and other sources be­long­ing to Za­man were trans­ferred to the Ci­han Me­dia Group and no pay- ment was made to Feza Me­dia for this. Also, Ci­han Me­dia started leas­ing the prop­erty it pur­chased but did not pay Feza Me­dia TL 800,000 ($206,998) per month.

Tl 1 Bil­lion com­pany aS­SiGneD For Tl 3 mil­lion

Re­sort­ing to a clan­des­tine yet clumsy method prior to the coup at­tempt, FETÖ op­er­a­tives as­signed the com­pany to the for­eign front com­pany for an ab­surd price. Speak­ing to Daily Sabah, the trustee com­mit­tee ad­min­is­tra­tors said a value be­tween TL 750 mil­lion and TL 1 bil­lion was set for the as­sets of the com­pany when they as­sumed lead­er­ship on March 4, 2016, but they could not find enough cash to pay for the per­son­nel and other ex­penses since a case ex­pense was not found to file a law­suit, as the com­pany was evac­u­ated and there were prob­lems even in the pay­ments of per­son­nel ex­penses.

Say­ing that the Bel­gium-based com­pany was re­vealed to be owned by sev­eral FETÖ mem­bers at the time, the trustee com­mit­tee ad­min­is­tra­tors added that no con­tact could be made with the rel­e­vant peo­ple and they sent a Bel­gian to Turkey as the com­pany’s spokesper­son only for show.

Ac­cord­ing to the data pro­vided by the Bel­gian Fi­nance Min­istry, hav­ing al­most usurped

the TL 1 bil­lion worth of Feza Me­dia’s as­sets, the FETÖ ad­min­is­tra­tion sold Ci­han Me­dia to a Bel­gium-based com­pany for TL 3 mil­lion. Also, it was re­vealed that the pub­lish­ing equip­ment and other valu­able press items be­long­ing to the me­dia com­pany were sold to sev­eral peo­ple for low prices with 10-year terms of con­di­tion that the pay­ment would start a year later.

GülenİSTS al­leGeDly SueD Turkey, De­manDeD 80 mil­lion eu­roS

It is al­leged that Cas­cade In­vest­ments N.V., which bought Ci­han Me­dia – ap­praised at TL 1 bil­lion – for TL 3 mil­lion, de­manded 80 mil­lion eu­ros in the com­plaint it filed at the ICSID. The ICSID has started eval­u­at­ing the case in which a Lon­don-based in­ter­na­tional law firm named Hogan Lovells In­ter­na­tional rep­re­sents the Bel­gian com­pany, which is a plain­tiff.

FronT com­pany FounDeD aS cau­Tion­ary mea­Sure

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany in­for­ma­tion ob­tained from fi­nan­cial sources, Cas­cade In­vest­ments N.V. was es­tab­lished as a joint stock com­pany in Au­gust 2006 in Brus­sels with 400,000 eu­ros. The man­age­ment staff were sev­eral mem­bers of FETÖ’s busi­ness­men’s as­so­ci­a­tion, in­clud­ing Ke­nan Sezer, Mustafa Ünal, İsk­ender Ka­pak­lıkaya, Hüseyin Şahin, Ah­met Tan­rıkulu and Ali Ak­tan.

Hav­ing 400 shares when it was newly es­tab­lished, the com­pany’s part­ners, Ak­tan and Tan­rıkulu, had 100 shares each while Şahin and Sezer had 60 each and Ka­pak­lıkaya and Ünal had 40. The front com­pany, which had only a small amount of as­sets un­til the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 ju­di­cial coup process, started to ex­pand its re­sources when oper­a­tions against FETÖ’s me­dia wing be­gan in 2015.

Hav­ing is­sued 600 new shares to­ward the end of 2015, the com­pany regis­tered these shares un­der the name of Orhan Az­i­zoğlu, who came to Bel­gium from Aus­tralia and has some links to the Za­man news­pa­per, ac­cord­ing to Wik­iLeaks sources. With the new shares, Az­i­zoğlu owned 60 per­cent of the com­pany. In the com­pany’s re­cent records, the head of­fice is os­ten­si­bly lo­cated in An­vers, and com­pany ex­ec­u­tive Me­sut Mutlu’s res­i­den­tial ad­dress is in Cologne, Ger­many, ac­cord­ing to the records.

FronT com­pany payS zero TaxeS To Bel­Gium

The fi­nan­cial sources also show that FETÖ’s front com­pany has not paid taxes in Bel­gium since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2006. Ac­cord­ing to records from the Bel­gian Trea­sury, the com­pany has not paid taxes by declar­ing losses ev­ery year. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial records, the com­pany’s de­clared losses over the years are 136,000 eu­ros in 2008, 138,000 eu­ros in 2009, 7,000 eu­ros in 2010, 22,000 eu­ros in 2011, 30,000 eu­ros in 2012, 51,000 eu­ros in 2013, 67,000 eu­ros in 2014, 45,000 eu­ros in 2015, and 79,000 eu­ros in 2016.

The ju­Di­cial proceSS

The ICSID is an in­sti­tu­tion of con­cil­i­a­tion and ar­bi­tra­tion for le­gal dis­putes be­tween in­ter­na­tional in­vestors. It un­der­takes a mis­sion to re­solve prob­lems in­vestors in de­vel­oped coun­tries might en­counter in their in­vest­ments in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries ob­jec­tively and timely. Af­ter the ICSID’s ar­bi­tra­tion au­thor­ity is re­sorted to in a law­suit, the de­ci­sion can­not be re­scinded uni­lat­er­ally. All coun­tries that are party to the ICSID are re­quired to ac­cept and con­form to the in­sti­tu­tion’s fi­nal ar­bi­tra­tion de­ci­sions.

Turk­ish po­lice stand guard in front of the build­ing of FETÖ-linked news­pa­per Za­man in Is­tan­bul, March 5, 2016, af­ter it was taken from the group.

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