Erdogan's son under investigation in Italy for money laundering

Bilal Erdogan, the second son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is under investigation in Italy for money laundering, legal sources told dpa on Wednesday, backing earlier press reports.

Bilal, 34, moved with his family to the central Italian town of Bologna in September, saying he wanted to complete PhD studies at the local Johns Hopkins University.

The Bologna prosecutors' office is investigating claims by a Turkish businessman hostile to Erdogan that his son arrived with large amounts of allegedly ill-gotten cash, the ANSA news agency originally reported Tuesday.

It was not possible to obtain confirmation from prosecutors, but a lawyer for the businessman, Murat Hakan Huzan, told dpa that he had filed a petition against Bilal, and another legal source in Bologna said an investigation had been opened on that basis.

However, the source stressed that the probe was at a very early stage, and may not lead to any indictment.

Erdogan has been in power since 2003, first as prime minister, then president. Originally hailed as a pro-Western reformer, he has lately been accused of corruption and authoritarianism, while remaining hugely popular.

In a December interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, Bilal rejected charges by Russia that his family was helping Islamic State smuggle oil out of Syria, thus giving support to the terrorist group.

Last update: Wed, 17/02/2016 - 13:28
Author: 

More from World

Report: Turkey starts operation against high-ranking Gulen followers

Turkish police began an operation Thursday to arrest a number of high-ranking followers of preacher Fethullah Gulen...

NYC mayor: residents shouldn't have to pay for Trump's security

Residents of New York City shouldn't have to foot the bill for added security around the residence of president-...

Four die of the plague in Madagascar

Four people have died from the plague in Madagascar, the Health Ministry announced Wednesday.

Top NATO officer: 150 Turkish officers recalled, retired after coup

About 150 Turkish officers, some responsible for training others, were recalled or retired from NATO high command in...

Erdogan says era of trade in local currencies set to begin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed up his ambitions for the lira Wednesday, saying the era of local...