Zarrab case is U.S. plan for “economic coup” against Turkey - pro-Erdoğan newspaper

The U.S. prosecution of Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab is being engineered by the United States as a way of pushing Turkey into economic crisis, a pro-government newspaper said on Friday.

The Takvim newspaper linked the case to a failed coup in July last year that the government blames on Pennsylvania–based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, and implied U.S. authorities were also complicit in the attempt to overthrow Turkey’s government.

“Their aim is to fine Turkey, that is, to mug this noble nation for its money … in that way, to create an economic crisis and succeed through an economic coup what they were unable to achieve on July 15 with a military coup,” it said.

Zarrab and the deputy CEO of Turkish state bank Halkbank, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, are due to be tried in a New York court this month on charges of circumventing U.S. sanctions against Iran with the help of Turkish officials. Halkbank shares fell 19 percent on Atilla’s arrest in March due to fears the bank could be subject to serious penalties.

The claims made in the U.S. case had been “exactly the same to the comma” as those made by Gülenist prosecutors in their case against key government figures in 2013, the report said, a likely reference to an English translation of the summary of proceedings of the first case being among the evidence against Zarrab.

An infographic from the article laying out the logic of the piece
An infographic from the article laying out the logic of the piece

The reason why the United States wants to overthrow the Turkish government, Takvim said, was simple.

“There is a clique in the United States who are uncomfortable with Turkey becoming a regional power,” the paper said. “This clique, formed particularly of Democrats and neo-cons, are doing whatever they can to prevent Turkey becoming a regional and global power.”

Turkey was not alone; in fact, it said, the United States wished to “divide all states and establish new statelets” it can control.

The United States had harried Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif out of office recently, Takvim added, and now was trying to divide and rule Saudi Arabia and Iran.