Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was enraged Wednesday by documents exposed by WikiLeaks which contend, among other things, that he has secret offshore bank accounts.
"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
WikiLeaks also revealed reports that Turkey was involved in terror acts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The London-based al-Hayyat cited documents saying Erdogan had neglected to secure Turkey's border with Iraq, allowing terrorists to pass through, and that he had funded weapons for al-Qaeda.
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