Will Erdogan quit if Russia gives proof of IS oil flowing to Turkey?

(From Sputnik)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is willing to quit office if Russia gives proof on Turkey buying oil from Islamic State (IS). While Moscow has enough evidence to support its view, one is not sure Erdogan will keep his word if Russia provides them.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

What provoked Erdogan to make the dramatic statement Monday was Putin’s comment on the sidelines of the Paris climate change summit, says Sputnik.

Putin said Russia has grounds to suspect that the Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces was downed by Ankara to secure illegal oil deliveries from Syria to Turkey.

Earlier, talking to reporters on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Antalya last month, he said 40 countries including some G20 members are funding the IS.

He also showed satellite images and aerial photos that revealed the true scale of IS’ illegal trade in oil and petroleum products.

He compared the motorcade of refueling vehicles stretching beyond the horizon to gas and oil pipeline systems.

The British newspaper Guardian has posted several articles on the IS oil business based on its own investigations.

Documents seized from a compound after US attack killed Abu Sayyaf, Tunisian fighter and IS oil dealer, in Syria in May exposed the undeniable link between IS and Turkey, according to Guardian.

Black market oil quickly became the main driver of IS revenues and Turkish buyers were its main clients, the daily said.

After Putin’s remarks on the issue, the newspaper published another article citing a long list of evidence of Turkish support for IS in Syria compiled by The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.

Based on several news sources, the document confirmed that Turkey provides IS with military equipment, transport and logistical assistance, military training, medical care and funds by buying oil.

Zero Hedge, while digging facts related to IS oil deals, quoted a study by George Kiourktsoglou, visiting lecturer, University of Greenwich, London, and Dr Alec D Coutroubis, principal lecturer, of the same university.

The study entitled ‘IS gateway to global crude oil markets,’ examined tanker charter rates from the port of Ceyhan to find if IS crude is being shipped from Southeast Turkey.

It found that the tradesmen/smugglers responsible for the transportation and sale of the ‘black gold’ sent convoys of up to 30 trucks to the extraction sites of the commodity.

They settled their trades with IS on site, encouraged by customer- friendly discounts and deferred payment schemes.

This way, crude left IS-run wells promptly and travelled through insurgent-held parts of Syria, Iraq and Turkey, the study said.

With US fighter jets not going to target these trucks carrying IS crude for fear of provoking a backlash from locals, the transport operations were running smoothly in broad daylight.

Traders lured by high profits were active in Syria (even in government-held territories), Iraq and south-east Turkey, the study said.

It also examined who was transporting the IS crude and where it was heading for.

The quantities of crude oil exported to the terminal in Ceyhan exceeded the mark of one million barrels per day.

Since IS has never been able to trade more than 45,000 barrels of oil daily, the detection of similar quantities of smuggled crude cannot take place through stock-accounting methods.

In other words, if IS oil was being shipped from Ceyhan, it would be invisible.

The blog showed how the suppliers can hide crude shipments by selling off the coast of Malta via ship-to-ship transfers and helping to disguise the final buyers.

“It turns out, Bilal Erdogan (the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdogan) owns a Maltese shipping company. The BMZ Group, a company owned by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son Bilal alongside other family members, has purchased two tankers in the last two months at a total cost of $36 million,” the blog quoted a report from a leading Turkish newspaper.

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