Almost exactly two years ago, The Slog posted as below about Asil Nadir’s return to the UK. Funny how it takes 24 months to bang up one man who has evaded justice for 25 years, and 24 days to get 3,000 rioters in the slammer: but that consideration aside, there was far more to the return of Nadir than the MSM understood at the time.
The following piece from August 27th 2010 describes the grubby geopolitics involved.
‘Despite the aura of great wealth he carries about him, Asil Nadir is on his uppers – make no mistake about it. The Turkish banking collapse of the late 1990s saw off much of his circuitously deposited loot. After that, to make ends meet his Cypriot cash-cow Kibris Media spent years studiously avoiding tax. To try and get a plea-bargain on this, the former Polly Peck magnate began to play Turkish and Cypriot politics. In revenge, this landed Kibris in March 2009 with an immediate, whopping tax bill of £5.4 million from the Government he was attacking in Kibris newspapers: pay up within 48 hours, or have all your assets sequestered.
But Nadir backed the eventual winners of the 2009 Turkish Cypriot election. Not only did the 48-hour tax ultimatum disappear, but all the ‘usual tendering processes’ were waived in order to allow him to win a multi-million Euro contract to operate and expand the Turkish Cypriot airport at Lefkoniko.
By this time, the fugitive from British justice had clearly hitched his star to the ruling Turkish Cypriot Coalition – whose general line has been to pave the way for a settlement of the Cyprus impasse with Greece, and thus help the Erdogan Government in Ankara to gain election to the EU.
But in April this year, things went awry for Asil Nadir when the right-wing hardline candidate Dervis Eroglu won the TKNC leadership election. Eroglu’s avowed policy is to take an intransigent position towards Greece, and oppose any negotiation about the division of Cyprus. Although in an ideal world this would also be the attitude of the Islamist ruling AK Party of Turkey, its leader Prime Minister Recep Erdogan badly wants access to the markets of Europe….and recognition of the Ankara line on Islam. That line is, needless to say, heavily anti-Israel: a seat at the EU Commission for Islamist views would be worth its weight in gold to AK – and its allies IHH and Hamas.
Nadir is in fact a willing pawn in a geopolitical game. To give the correct impression of a Turkish Government unwilling to shield EU fugitives on Turkish territory – albeit unrecognised – a deal has been struck between Nadir and the Ankara regime by which he will return to face the music….but not be harshly treated. The Slog also understands that Nadir’s outstanding tax bill will be waived.
Given the current lunatic policy of David Cameron in support of Turkish EU membership, this is an outcome in which everybody wins: Cameron reaches out to Ankara, Erdogan gets his EU respectability – and Nadir gets his tax bill paid, plus his freedom back.
Everybody, that is, except
(1) those EU countries implacably opposed to Turkish membership
(2) Israel, which fears increasing isolation among European nations and
(3) Hermann van Rompuy – who is on the record as saying he will fight tooth and nail to keep any Islamic nation out of the EU.
There is an enormous amount at stake here. Asil Nadir is a corrupt businessman in the classic mould, a man to whom it is highly dangerous to give power and limelight. Recep Erdogan is a thinly-disguised Islamist desperate to win a seat at the top table for his masters’ cockeyed view of the world. And shortsighted EU leaders like Cameron see in the booming Turkish economy a partial lifeline for the Union – as well as an export market for the UK.’
So here we are, 23rd August 2012. The game has been played out, some minor functionary in the FCO is now assured his gong, and – following an appeal – if Asil Nadir isn’t out of jail on the grounds of ill-health by 2016, I’ll eat a Troll.