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UN Tells ICP Turkish Billionaire Did NOT Get UN Award, UNCA Scam

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 19, updated Jan 13 -- When the UN Correspondents Association held its ball in Cipriani on December 16, fraud was engaged in. And tellingly it has yet to be corrected, at least by UNCA.

 On December 19 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric if Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel is misrepresenting things when he and his companies say he got a "UN award from Ban Ki-moon on December 16, along with photos with Ban and his wife.

  Dujarric said it was not a UN award but one from UNCA, and should only be described that way. Video here. Will UNCA, aware and more of the scam, take action on its own?

  When Inner City Press covered and questioned the award, UNCA quickly blocked the Press from its Twitter feed on which it announced the award. (The blocking continues.)

  But Enver Yucel and his for-profit network Bahcesehir Ugur a/k/a/ BAU International University, now following and supporting UNCA, publicly called what he receive a "United Nations" award, and published photographs of Enver Yucel with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon taken at the UNCA event as proof.

Update of January 13: a wire service story today presenting one view of Yucel's work, which we link to here, says correctly that he was in New York (in December) to receive an eduction award. That is different than the uncorrected claims that it was a "UN award."

  Ban Ki-moon at a December 17 press conference in which he read out answers to questions he was apparently given in advance, praised the UNCA event, apparently unaware how he was being used by, or sold to, the Turkish billionaire:

"I am very glad to see you so bright-eyed after last night's UNCA [United Nations Correspondents Association] [Awards] dinner.  In fact, we have some pieces of cake left if anybody wants.  Thank you for all your friendship and cooperation and support for all United Nations work." Video here, UN transcript here.

   So what does the UN do, when access to the Secretary General is mis-represented and sold?

  Even during the event, before Ban's above-quoted statement, it was tweeted at that "The U.N. has chosen Mr. Enver Yucel to receive the 'Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Education.' @EnverYucel." That is simply false. It is not a UN award. Meanwhile, while a fish rots from the head (see below), other UNCA bigwigs spent the event taking selfies and congratulating themselves, while the event itself was used to sell Ban Ki-moon and "the UN" to a Turkish billionaire. This is what UNCA has become: some now call it the UN Corruption Association.

  When Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli arrived, to receive an award about Haiti without any questions having been answered about UN Peacekeepers shooting demonstrators there, he again did not answer on Haiti, or the UN's role in cholera there.

   Since the past and future president of UNCA Giampaolo Pioli somewhat famously rented one of his Manhattan apartments to Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador for who he later screened a war crimes denial movie inside the UN, one mused at the limos, how many of these have been or will be tenants of Il Presidente? How many, indeed.

  Tellingly, the majority of tweets from inside UNCA Bull were from the Italian mission, and from Turks claiming Enver Yucel was getting a "UN" award. Perhaps it is the UN's Corruption Alliance.

   Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived, and was met curbside by his spokesman. Bosnia's Permanent Representative arrived, France's arriving later, solo. Several Security Council members' spokespeople arrived. One attendee had a hard time getting in with a walker - imagine a wheelchair - UNCA is inaccessible.

  Earlier, UNCA's former first vice president was called out harshly by a Council member but was seen smoking, in a tux, on the sidewalk. But that's another story. This individual censored Google (how European); now UNCA as a organization blocks those who ask questions from its (not very interesting) Twitter feed.
   UNCA blocked Inner City Press from its Twitter feed; later its web site began to require a password to view it: no access.)

  This is the UN's Censorship Alliance, or an organization in decline, or both. This apparently is what happens when you try to censor, or when the censor in chief Giampaolo Pioli returns to helm the group turning in on itself.

  What's on the menu?

  Pioli, who rented one of his Manhattan apartments to Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's Ambassador who later got Pioli to agree, without the agreement of other UNCA board members, to screen a war crimes denial film in the UN, has a real estate mini-empire founded on pasta, some of it, at least initially, Turkish.

  Beyond the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel (presumably absent any explanation to the contrary chosen by UNCA's Italian president and Turkish first vice president), are UNCA's other awardees aware UNCA blocks access by the press?

  One awardee is an UNCA board member, so one would assume he knows. Another has indicated it's not worth the time to cover UNCA and its actions, even trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN or otherwise censoring.

 But how about Hanan Alkiswany, Al-ghad Daily (Jordan), Francesco Semprini, La Stampa, Alice Su, Freelance, Marina Aizen, Revista Viva, Clarín (Agentina), Soma Basu, Down to Earth Magazine (India) Amy Yee, Freelance and, with regard to Herve Ladsous, below, Tatiana Mossot, France 24? Are they aware of their awarder's censorship and blocking of the Press? What do they think of it? Four of the above have been made aware, by Twitter. Now the site is behind a wall. Watch this site.


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