A series of questions raised by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Meral Danış Beştaş about a specially equipped Boeing 747-8 that was allegedly gifted by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been left unanswered by Vice President Fuat Oktay, the Mesopotamia news agency reported on Thursday.
The controversial airplane was originally to be sold on the secondary market, and the Qataris had set the price at $400 million.
When Erdoğan took an interest in it, the emir of Qatar decided to give it to him as a present due to “his love for Erdoğan and his trust in Turkey,” media reports said in September.
Beştaş asked 14 questions about the aircraft on Sept.17. She received only a single sentence in response from Oktay, who said, “The aircraft in question was given to our country and belongs to the Republic of Turkey.”
Some of Beştaş’s questions were: “When was the Boeing 747-8 purchased? How much money was paid to the Qatari emir for the plane? What is the source of this payment? Why was an announcement made on Feb.9 to recruit pilots for the Boeing 747-8? When was a decision made to buy the airplane? Why was the plane bought and by whom it will be used? Why is this plane being preferred over other planes registered to the state fleet? What will happen to the other planes in the state fleet? Will they be sold off?”
Opposition parties such as the HDP claim that the plane was not gifted to Erdoğan but rather that he is pretending it was given to him so as to not attract public criticism.