Ex-Premier Victor Ponta denied the allegations broadcast by Antena 3, according to which he has been appointed honorary aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The allegations appeared after Victor Ponta returned from Istanbul on Tuesday night. He was 10 minutes away from the Ataturk Airport hit by the terrorist attack.
“No [I’m not Erdogan’s aide], it’s false information from some “friends” of mine from Romania,” Victor Ponta stated on Romania TV. “I am nobody’s aide but I have lots of friends in Turkey,” he added. Ponta pointed out he went to Turkey unaccompanied.
Antena 3 broadcast the information that the ex-Premier is allegedly Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s honorary aide and that is the explanation for his frequent visits to Turkey and for the special relationship he has with that country. According to the aforementioned source, Victor Ponta offers counselling on European affairs and is allegedly protected by the Turkish secret service.
Ponta has frequently visited Turkey lately. In June 2015, after the DNA asked for the start of a criminal probe against him, he left for Turkey to undergo knee surgery. The Medipol University Hospital of Istanbul, where Ponta underwent surgery, was the one where Turkish President Recep Erdogan also underwent surgery in November 2011 and February 2012. At that time, ‘Romania Libera’ daily wrote that Medipol Hospital is allegedly owned by a former classmate and backer of President Recep Erdogan, while the Turkish press wrote on several occasions about the close links between Erdogan and the hospital in Istanbul. According to Turkish journalists, the Turkish President’s wife is the hospital’s majority shareholder and controls its activity.
Ex-Premier Victor Ponta went to Istanbul on 23 April 2015 too, attending, at Erdogan’s invitation, a “summit of peace” that preceded the ceremonies that marked one hundred years since the Dardanelles Campaign. That visit was not made public on the Government’s website nor personally by Victor Ponta, with no images from the event being presented. The only information came from the Turkish side.