Sanctions-busting trial “a conspiracy staged against Turkey” - Turkish nationalist party leader

The U.S. prosecution of Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla has become irredeemably politicised in the United States and must be moved to Turkey in order that justice can be done, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said.

“They wish to try Turkey and sit it in the defendant’s seat through a dark, Iranian-origin Turkish citizen individual,” Bahçeli said, in reference to gold dealer Reza Zarrab, who appears to have made a plea bargain and has been dropped from the list of defendants in the case.

“The defendant, the witness, the confessor, the judge: they have all been placed on the stage in a conspiracy scenario aimed at Turkey.”

Zarrab should be sent back to Turkey to be tried, Bahçeli said.

“The U.S. should return him to Turkey and give Turkey the information and documents it has on this issue,” he added.

“After he is punished, his Turkish citizenship should be removed.”

However, there was little chance of that happening while the United States was still controlling multiple terrorist organisations – the Sufi Fethullah Gülen movement (FETÖ), the Islamic State group (ISIS) and the Kurdish separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – to attack Turkey’s interests, Bahçeli said.

“FETÖ is ISIS in another dress,” he said. “Every ISIS member is also a FETÖ member; every FETÖ member is at the same time a PKK member.”

The United States should immediately withdraw all these groups, for the Turks would not give up any of their land, Bahçeli said.