Russia claimed Wednesday to have proof that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s (pictured) family profits from the illegal oil trade with Islamic State (Isis).
The Defence Ministry presented a large file of evidence to dozens of foreign military attaches and hundreds of journalists at a conference in Moscow.
Officials produced aerial and satellite photographs showing thousands of oil tanker lorries streaming from Isis-controlled oil wells in Syria and Iraq into Turkish sea ports and refineries.
“The main customer for this oil stolen from Syria and Iraq is Turkey,” Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said.
“The top political leadership of the country, President Erdogan and his family, is involved in this criminal business,” he alleged.
Mr Erdogan’s son Bilal, a shipping magnate, stands accused of being a key player in the trade with Isis.
“What a great family business!” Mr Antonov exclaimed, pointing out that Mr Erdogan’s son-in-law is Turkey’s energy minister.
Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy said that Russian air raids against oil storage facilities and the smugglers’ fleet of over 1,000 tanker lorries had halved the terrorists’ huge income.
“The income of this terrorist organization was about $3 million (£2m) per day. After two months of Russian air strikes their income was about $1.5m (£1m) a day,” he said.