Sanctions scandal ex-ministers may be banned from leaving Turkey - CHP MP

A deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that he had heard that a ban on leaving Turkey has been placed on three ex-ministers who were named in an Iranian sanctions-busting scandal.

“We got some information,” Haluk Pekşen told Halk TV, “and I do not know to what extent it is true, but they have quietly placed a ban on leaving the country for these three ministers being mentioned with (Iranian-Turkish gold dealer Reza) Zarrab who got involved in corruption into the Interpol records.”

Pekşen said the government were afraid that ex-ministers so far named in the scandal – whom he did not name, but are likely to be former EU Minister Egemen Bağış, former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and former Interior Minister Muammer Güler – would escape the country and turn informants themselves.

Other Turkish politicians named by Zarrab in his testimony to the court were then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and then-Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

Zarrab said Çağlayan had passed on orders from Erdoğan and Babacan to expand the bypassing of Iranian sanctions using Turkish state banks.

Interpol recently began an examination of 40,000 wanted notices following the arrest of a Turkish-origin German author in Spain over charges of armed robbery.

German authorities said Doğan Akhanlı, who is known for his writing on the Armenian genocide, had been placed on the list for political reasons, and Spanish authorities released him after a few days.