Trump Towers are seen in Sisli district in Istanbul, Turkey on Dec. 11, 2015.Emrah Gurel / AP file
Trump and his family have long had business ties in and with Turkey, the most visible example being the Trump Towers Istanbul, which licenses the Trump name. The Trump Organization describes the buildings on its website as “a landmark in the historic city of Istanbul” and it is the organization’s first and only office and residential tower in Europe, with offices, apartments and upscale shops. The Washington Post has reported that the organization was paid up to $10 million to put the Trump name on the two buildings.
A lawsuit filed by 29 senators and 186 House Democrats — one of three lawsuits that have alleged that Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses, which bar the president from receiving monetary or other benefits of value from foreign or U.S. state entities while in office — claims that Turkey has among the highest number of foreign business ventures in which Trump is at least a partial owner, with 119 listed. Others include China, with 115, and the Philippines, with 121.
Businesses linked to the Turkish government are also major patrons of the Trump Organization. Turkish officials have made 14 visits to Trump properties, more than any other country, according to an analysis performed for NBC News by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
According to Trump’s financial disclosure forms, the Trump business relating to the licensing of the Trump name to the Trump Towers Istanbul property in Turkey earned him $1 million to $5 million in royalties in 2015 and 2016. The royalties decreased, according to his disclosures, to $100,001 to $1 million for 2017 and 2018.