Bilal Erdoğan, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son, had earlier denied allegations swirling on social media circles and some anti-government media outlets saying that he fled to Italy. This time, he said that he the allegations were "tragicomic" and the best way to handle them were to laugh them off and to "refer them to law." Erdoğan made the comments on Monday at a conference organized by the Foundation of Youth and Education (TÜRGEV) in Istanbul, of which he is an executive board member.
Regarding accusations claiming that he fled to Italy, Erdoğan had previously stated that his lawyer was preparing to file lawsuits over the allegations.
On Monday's conference, Erdoğan reiterated his previous statement that he was continuing a PhD in international relations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, emphasizing that he was still continuing his works at TÜRGEV.
He said, "When some things are done with the mentality of 'throw dirt enough, and some will stick', sometimes it is not possible to either take off that dirt or its trace."
Erdoğan reminded the attendees of the conference that when main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had accused TÜRGEV of engaging in bribery last year, the court had ordered him to pay indemnification for his defamatory statements. Erdoğan said, "Kılıçdaroğlu may understand that he made a mistake. And people would understand that it is wrong to falsely accuse people and institutions."
He further said that it was wrong for politicians to conduct politics through families and institutions, and was in constant contact with his acquaintances and lawyers "not to overshadow" the upcoming November 1 early elections.