Construction Company in NYC Mayor Probe Got Millions From Turkish Bank – The Daily Beast

time The FBI raided the home of a prominent fundraiser. For New York City Mayor Eric Adams, last week thrust his ties to far-flung interests to the core of city politics.

KSK Construction is reportedly at the center of an alleged scandal in which federal authorities are investigating whether Turkish authorities funneled money to Adams’ mayoral campaign through local straw donors. And the Daily Beast’s investigation into KSK has uncovered important information about how much the company has relied on banks controlled by the Turkish government for financial support.

It turns out that Turkish government-owned bank Turkiye Vakihlal Bankasi Bank has been underwriting KSK’s activities in five governorates for many years, with the construction company, its principals and affiliates receiving at least $14.9 million in loans from the bank. was receiving. The lender also extended a credit facility worth $7.4 million to KSK and its affiliates.

Operator who answered the phone at KSK – Previously called kiska and lead to something bigger Turkish infrastructure company— first off the Daily Beast show on Monday. On a second attempt, a company representative declined to comment and again abruptly hung up.

According to the bank Website, Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund controls almost three-quarters of the bank’s shares, and the country’s finance ministry also holds a nearly 15% stake. The lender did not respond to messages left by The Daily Beast through its online portal and its Manhattan office. KSK’s relationship with the bank (commonly referred to as Vakif Bank and abbreviated as T. Vakifreya Bankasi in most New York City registry filings) dates back more than a decade and was most recently renewed in May of this year. However, the loans in question do not exactly match. With Adams’ appointment to City Hall.

Instead, documents uncovered by The Daily Beast show that an arm of the Turkish state has been funding KSK’s operations in New York City for years.

Among the loans provided by Vakifbank to KSK are; $3.5 million mortgage In 2010, it was licensed to a subsidiary called MKD Group for housing development in Brooklyn. $2.9 million The agency provided a loan to another KSK affiliate, 160 Dikeman LLC, for the loan for an office complex near the borough’s waterfront. Documents submitted from 2019 It shows the bank loaned KSK through a revolving credit facility valued at $5.4 million that was owned by 160 Dykeman LLC and its nominee property.

Vakifbank has also provided loans to companies controlled by KSK executives, managers, employees and others with strong ties to the company. For example, in May this year, Vakifbank made a loan. $4.5 million He went to a company called Oily River Development to buy another location in Brooklyn. Owner of Oily River Development? Mr. Ulgull Aydin, principal of KSK. Additionally, one of the guarantors of that loan is the family of KSK’s business partner Elden Alkan, who donated $1,500 to Adams in 2021.

This is not the only example. Another documented donor to Adams, Sarthak Varol (listed as a KSK “partner” in New York City campaign finance filings), invested in a company called Citadel Development Corp. in 2015. signed the paperwork to receive the donation. $500,000 loan from Vakifbank to acquire real estate in Queens.

Vallor did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast, but spoke to the paper. new york post He said he did not believe he contributed to Adams or any other political candidate in his life.

The company also provided financing to Aysun Kahyaoglu, KSK’s project manager, and her husband Faik and son Suleiman, who run SKF Electrical. KSK partner company. The Adams camp also reported the following: $2,250 donation From the Kahyaoglu tribe during the 2021 cycle.

As of 2017, Vakifbank had bid $1.5 million in direct financing and credit facilities for the family’s Kahyaoglu development. over $2 million KSK will take over the mortgage balances on three condominium units in two buildings and an apartment leased to Israeli lender Elewmi Bank by a KSK affiliate.

In addition to its financing and credit facility, in March 2022, Vakifbank will invest in Kahyaogrus. $2 million mortgage And to buy real estate in Brooklyn.

Still, the New York City Registry documents do not appear to capture the full extent of Vakifbank’s support for KSK and its affiliates.State commercial law application reflect the loan An unspecified amount will be paid by the facility to the builder in October 2021, one month before Adams’ election. The loan is not listed in the city register documents, presumably because he was not securing it against real estate within the five boroughs.

Mr. Adams denied any wrongdoing by himself or his campaign.

“Where there is smoke there is not always fire,” he told locals. TV station PIX11 In an interview on Friday.

The social media pages of various KSK figures examined by The Daily Beast contained little mention of Adams or local New York City government issues. Both Ardan and Urgulu, who deleted their Facebook pages, frequently post comments online criticizing former President Donald Trump and, surprisingly, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was criticizing. Both parties repeatedly shared support for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), founded by Kemal Atatürk.

In May 2015, Aldan shared multiple images of himself and KSK employees participating in Turkish elections, which allowed citizens living abroad to participate remotely.These include: self He is seen wearing a badge that reads “Overseas District Election Commissioner” in Turkish.

Adams has visited Turkey many times during his political career. with support From the Erdoğan government and institutions close to it. He has also participated in Turkish cultural events and boasted about his ties to Turkey.his I received a campaignand then $10,000 in donations from state-affiliated university employees in 2021 were refunded.

The campaign also recorded nearly $14,000 in donations from KSK executives and staff, and a May 2021 fundraiser Arcan organized for Adams raised nearly $70,000.

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