A photo sent to teyit.org was shared on social media with the claim that the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the well-known businessman George Soros were sitting at the same table.
The photo which circulates on the internet for a long time with the claim that it was taken in the World Economic Forum 2003 was recently shared on Twitter on November 21, 2018 by Garo Paylan, Diyarbakır deputy of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). His post received approximately 2,000 likes. Similarly, the same photo shared by a Twitter user named “Kaç Saat Oldu?” was liked by about 3,500 users.
Some users asserted that a photomontage technique was used in the relevant photo.
The photo was taken in Davos in 2003
The claim that the photo showing the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the businessman George Soros at the same table is true. The photo was not subjected to photomontage. The meeting was held at Victoria Hotel in Switzerland, Davos during the World Economic Forum 2003.
In a news article of Hürriyet newspaper dated January 24, 2003, it was reported that the politicians such as the then Prime Minister Abdullah Gül, the leader of AK Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the then Minister of State Ali Babacan and the then Minister of Finance Kemal Unakıtan attended the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Davos.
Several photos taken in the World Economic Forum 2003 can be found on the website of Anadolu Agency. The original photo showing Erdoğan and Soros together is among these. The photo was taken on January 25, 2003 by Ömer Tekdal.
It was explained below the photo that Erdoğan met the worldwide known investor George Soros in the World Economic Forum. The former ministers Egemen Bağış and Ömer Çelik sat just next to Erdoğan in the photo.
A news article of Yeni Şafak newspaper dated January 26, 2003 gives significant details about the meeting in Davos. According to the news, the leader of AK Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came together with George Soros and the Mayor of Athens “Isabelle Tornare” separately at Victoria Hotel. However, there is no photo regarding these meetings in the article.
On the other hand, a photo taken during the meeting of Erdoğan with a woman claimed to be the Mayor of Athens “Isabelle Tornare” was published on web site of Anadolu Agency. It can be understood from the photo that the meeting was held at the same table.
Nevertheless, it can be said that the person in the photo who were reported to be the Mayor of Athens and met with Erdoğan was not Isabelle Tornare. The woman in question was Dora Bakoyannis who was served as the Mayor of Athens between 2003 and 2006 and then, became the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was working for Isabelle Tornare in communication unit during the World Economic Forum 2003.
A photo which was uploaded to Flickr by the World Economic Forum indicates that George Soros participated in the event. Besides, the statements of Soros who attended the World Economic Forum 2003 can be found in a news article of CNN dated January 28, 2003.
George Soros is at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, 2003
The meeting was covered by the newspapers of that period as well
It can be stated that the meeting held between Erdoğan and Soros in Davos in 2003 was covered by the newspapers of that period as well. The relevant photo was published in Star newspaper dated January 27, 2003 which can be found in the National Library of Turkey in the periodicals section.
According to the news article reported with the headline “Tayyip Erdoğan Met Soros”, the leader of AK Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with the market wizard, George Soros in Davos and Soros talked about his will to participate in the education projects in Turkey, to Erdoğan.
Erdoğan and Soros came together later
The internet search shows several news which reported that Erdoğan and Soros came together in the following years as well. In a news article of Radikal newspaper dated June 16, 2005, it was mentioned that George Soros stayed in Turkey for eight days and met Erdoğan during his stay.
A similar news article about the meeting of Erdoğan and Soros can be found on Milliyet.
Why was the photo brought to agenda?
The Chairman of Anadolu Kültür Foundation, Osman Kavala was detained in İstanbul on October 19, 2017 and arrested on November 1, 2017 for being the manager and organizer of Taksim Gezi Park protests which took place in 2013.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described Kavala as “Turkey’s Soros” in a group meeting of his party in October 2017. Ahmet Sever, former media advisor of Abdullah Gül touched on the meeting of Erdoğan and Soros in Davos in 2003, in his article dated October 24, 2017. In the past few days, 20 people, including Prof. Betül Tanbay from Bogazici University and Vice Dean of Bilgi University Faculty of Law, Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhanlı were detained as part of Osman Kavala Investigation. After the statement were taken in 16 October, Prof. Dr. Turgut Turhanlı was released with a ban on leaving abroad. Next day in 17 October, Prof. Betül Tanbay was release after her statement were taken.
LAST UPDATE: 23.11.2018 / 10:03 pm
- The date given in the reference to the news article of Radikal on the analysis was corrected as 2005.
LAST UPDATE: 26.11.2018 / 3:35 pm
- The part about Isabelle Tornare who was reported to be the Mayor of Athens was changed. Furthermore, it was added that the woman in the photo was Dora Bakoyannis.
Hürriyet Newspaper, Erdoğan is in Davos, Gül goes today, January 24, 2003
Anadolu Agency, Photo of Erdoğan with Soros, January 25, 2003
Yeni Şafak Newspaper, Impressions from Davos, January 26, 2003
Anadolu Agency, Meeting of Erdoğan with the Mayor of Athens, January 25, 2003
City of Athens, The list of the Mayors of Athens
Getty Images, Photo of the former Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis, 2004
Flickr, Photo of George Soros taken in Davos, January 26, 2003
CNN, Statements of George Soros, January 28, 2003
Star Newspaper, Tayyip Erdoğan Met Soros, January 27, 2003
Radikal Newspaper, Soros worked hard during his 8-day stay, June 16, 2005
Milliyet Newspaper, Erdoğan met Soros, 2005
T24, Connections of Erdoğan with Soros, October 24, 2017