How an Erdoğan Crony Made a Fortune

 The BMC affair is just one example of an Erdoğan business crony making hefty gains thanks to nepotism and favoritism.

Ethem Sancak is a Turkish businessman with an empire of media companies. Sancak, a former Maoist, once declared that he was in spiritual love with Turkey’s Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has also served on top boards of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

In 2014, Sancak’s Es Mali Yatırım Danışmanlık company purchased BMC, then a troubled armored vehicles maker, for $350 million. BMC had been seized by the government’s banking fund for unpaid debts worth $75 million.

Sancak then rushed to his spiritual love, Erdoğan, in quest of a partner to back his venture into the defense industry. Erdoğan recommended businessman Talip Öztürk, a distant relative of his. Öztürk invested $100 million in BMC to become partners with Sancak.

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