Erdogan son probe 'threat to relations' (2)

Says country should be handling the mafia instead

(ANSA) - Istanbul, August 2 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that an Italian investigation involving his son could put Turkey's relations with Italy "in difficulty".
    During an interview on RAI News 24, Erdogan said Italy "should be handling the mafia instead".
    Prosecutors in the northern city of Bologna are investigating Erdogan's son Bilal, who is studying at John Hopkins University there, as part of a money laundering probe.
    The inclusion of Erdogan's son in the list of people under investigation follows a petition to authorities from Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan, a political opponent of Erdogan who is wanted by Turkish authorities and is in exile. The petition asks Italian police to investigate potential sums of money brought to Italy by Bilal, 35, who had officially returned to Italy in autumn 2015 to resume PhD studies he began in 2007 at John Hopkins University in Bologna. However, Turkish anti-government sources say he flew to Italy in the fall with a "large sum of money" as part of a "getaway operation", according to Uzan's petition.
    Bilal Erdogan left Italy in March 2016 for unspecified "security reasons".
    Erdogan also said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini shouldn't have spoken about Turkey following the recent failed coup without first coming to the country herself.
    "If the Italian parliament gets bombed, what happens - Mogherini, who's Italian, how does she react? Would she say they did the right thing to bomb it? That she's worried about the trials that would follow?" he said.
    Following the attempted coup in Turkey, Mogherini called on Turkey to respect the rule of law.
    Erdogan said if the Turkish Parliament votes for it, the country "is ready" to reinstate capital punishment.
    Erdogan also said on Tuesday that if the EU doesn't grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens, Turkey will no longer respect its accord with the EU on tackling the migrant crisis.
    Erdogan's comments on RAI News 24 confirmed a statement made previously by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusgolu.