Koç pops up at Bilderberg: could this be the year to let it all hang out?

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Jun 12 07:37:22 BST 2015

Bilderberg 2015: Cold war dinosaurs drive a wedge between Europe & Russia
BBC Radio Wales Good Morning Wales Fri 12 June 2015

Koç pops up at Bilderberg: could this be the year to let it all hang out?

I’ve extended the hand of friendship to one of 
the group’s most prominent members – now what’s 
called for is some public exposure

Skelton - Friday 12 June 2015 07.00 BSTLast 
modified on Friday 12 June 201507.04 BST

There was an unfortunate limo-jam outside the 
gates of the Interalpen-Hotel. Over to the side 
was a whispering huddle of police, flicking 
hopelessly through a list of names and shrugging, 
while a row of V12 Mercedes idled angrily. What 
was happening? Had the organisers realised they’d 
made a terrible mistake inviting Ed Balls and 
scratched his name at the last minute?

A people carrier pulled up to the back of the 
queue, carrying a face I knew well. It was 
Turkish billionaire and 
steering committee member, Mustafa Koç. He rubbed 
the back of his wrestler’s neck with a meaty hand 
and looked profoundly unamused by the Koç block. 
I haven’t witnessed a Koç being denied entry this 
embarrassingly since my university leaving ball.

After snapping a quick Koç pic I ventured a 
hello. “Mr Koç!” I cried, and gave a friendly 
wave. He nodded back. I introduced myself, and 
took his photo again. This suddenly felt a little 
rude in the middle of a more than usually human 
moment, so I apologised. “No problem,” he said, and smiled.

Oh my goodness, this was it: dialogue! The great 
I-Thou connection at the root of all human 
interaction. Me and Koç, two souls reaching out 
to each other, across the barricades. I pressed on.

“Are you looking forward to the conference?” His 
eyes shone and he nodded a yes. “And what are 
your thoughts on the recent Turkish elections?” 
at which point our burgeoning friendship was cut 
short tragically short when Koç’s driver raised 
his window. The bottleneck cleared and Koç shot off.

I appreciate Skelton-Koç may not have been 
Frost-Nixon, but it was a rare moment of humanity 
across the barricades. And let’s face it, this 
meagre exchange shouted across a driver’s chest 
is probably the closest we’ll get to a press conference this whole Bilderberg.

I have to say, the cavernous lack of press 
co-operation from what is an important political 
summit, attended by politicians, prime ministers, 
and public policymakers, is seeming more absurd 
by the year. At this year’s summit for example, 
the subject of “Greece” is being discussed by 
three European prime ministers, the Austrian 
president, a member of the executive board of the 
European Central Bank, two European finance 
ministers (including George Osborne) and the head 
of the Dutch national bank. Some major players in the game.

Discussing it with them, we have a large number 
of CEOs and chairpersons from some extremely 
large financial institutions, all of whom have a 
keen interest in what happens to Greece: the 
assembled heads of HSBC, Lazard, Deutsche Bank, 
Santander and KKR; board members of Morgan 
Stanley and Goldman Sachs; the chairman of 
Goldman Sachs International; and the 
vice-chairman of BlackRock. All these public 
officials meeting with all these corporations, 
and no representation whatsoever from any serving 
Greek politicians. And no press oversight.

It might perhaps be wiser, and certainly more 
respectful towards the journalists who are being 
harassed by police, and the electorates of the 
politicians who are attending, for the Bilderberg 
group to hold a press conference on the final 
day. There’s a precedent for this: it’s what they 
used to do, before the Lockheed scandal and the 
resignation of Prince Bernhard saw them retreat 
further into secrecy. I’ve seen footage of a 
Bilderberg press conference from the 1970s. It could happen again.

I’m sure the funding that 
Sachs and BP funnel into the Bilderberg 
conferences (as revealed in the annual returns of 
the Bilderberg Association) could cover a few 
rows of chairs and a microphone. Nothing fancy. A 
short statement and a few Q&As.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just give 
us something resembling a wheel. A chopped log 
would do at a pinch. We’ll take anything. We’re 
tired of watching diplomatic passports being slid 
above tinted windows. Tired of politicians hiding 
their faces, and ministers refusing to talk about 
what they talked about. Tired of police officers 
who, when they aren’t hassling journalists, are 
lining up in ranks in front of limousines to obscure the view.
  Police stand guard at Bilderberg 2015. Photograph: Charlie Skelton/Guardian

Now here’s an idea: maybe Mustafa Koç could help 
enable this press conference? The Koç family’s 
conglomerate, the brilliantly named Koç Holding, 
lists “four main inviolable principles” in its 
articles of corporate governance, and the very 
first of these is “transparency”. Koç himself, 
the chairman of the company, seems happy to chat 
to the press, and he’s spoken out against 
corruption in politics. He said recently, just 
before his country’s elections: “Our people deserve clean politics.”

Clean politics is open politics. Transparency lets the sunlight in.

Koç might have a fight on his hands, but he looks 
like someone who doesn’t mind twisting arms. And 
there’s no denying that Koç is a powerful 
presence at Bilderberg. There are a lot of 
friends of Koç on the steering committee, so when 
it comes to lobbying for better press relations, 
maybe Koç can swing it? Surely something this 
simple wouldn’t be hard for Koç. Not a Koç that powerful.

After all, Koç is hugely connected in the world 
of business. He’s a member of the International 
Advisory board of Rolls-Royce, and sits on 
JPMorgan’s International Advisory Council 
alongside Tony Blair. And his fellow member of 
the steering committee, Peter Sutherland, the 
chairman of Goldman Sachs International, is on the board of Koç Holding.

And I think, in some small way, I have an 
understanding with Koç. So, in the spirit of 
dialogue and progress, of transparency and “clean 
politics”, I’m reaching out to Koç, to help make 
this press conference happen. I may be wrong, my 
dreams my come to nothing, but I have a strange 
feeling that 2015 might just be the year of Koç.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20150612/0bfeb570/attachment.html>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list