May 14 2018

Turkish business people afraid to visit US – economic board president

Turks in the business world are frightened to visit the United States, Nail Olpak, President of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) said in comments reported on Sunday in Ahval’s Turkish language news website.

Their concern stems from the fate of banker Hakan Atilla, who currently awaits sentencing in the United States after being convicted last year of busting sanctions on Iran in a trial that featured the testimony of businessmen Reza Zarrab ― notorious for the role he played in a corruption scandal that engulfed Turkey in late 2013.

“There is a perception in the business world at the moment like this,” said Olpak, “‘We saw the Halk Bank case, we saw what happened to happened to Hakan (Atilla). It’s unclear what will happen. Don’t go to the United States if you don’t have to.’ There is such a fear in the business world.”

He went on to say, “If this perception continues it could negatively affect relations. However, in spite of everything that happened in 2017, I can say with confidence that in 2018 trade relations will continue without getting worse.”