Ibrahim Kalın, Turkey’s newly appointed intelligence chief, allegedly had secret meetings with Yasin al-Qadi, a one-time al-Qaeda financer and close friend of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both were suspects in a criminal investigation conducted between 2012 and 2013, with evidence including surveillance records, phone wiretaps, and records of bribes and kickbacks.


Kalın reportedly had close ties with Usama Qutb, an Egyptian national and al-Qadi’s point man in Turkey. Intercepted communications suggest that Kalın and Qutb arranged several meetings between Kalın and al-Qadi. Kalın was seemingly providing guidance to al-Qadi and his associates on influencing Turkish foreign policy and intelligence.


Al-Qadi’s trips to Turkey, some of which occurred while he was under UN and US sanctions, faced no obstacles as Erdogan’s personal bodyguards escorted him. Despite making business deals with Erdogan’s son Bilal and transferring millions of dollars to Turkey, al-Qadi also met with Erdogan, his then-intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, and Kalın to discuss foreign policy, intelligence, and security matters.


Al-Qadi, Bilal, Kalın, and others were suspects in a corruption investigation pursued by prosecutors in Istanbul. However, Erdogan intervened, preventing the execution of the detention warrants by ordering the police to ignore the prosecutors’ orders. After the removal of the prosecutors and police chiefs involved in the investigation, Erdogan managed to halt the investigation and save all the suspects from serious criminal charges

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