Oct 20 2019

Turkish foreign minister says Halkbank case is politically motivated

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Saturday said the case against Turkey's state-owned Halkbank over charges of conspiring to evade sanctions on Iran was politically motivated, Reuters reported.

Manhattan prosecutors issued an indictment on Tuesday against Halkbank on charges of engaging in a multi-billion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, for which Turkey has long been pressuring U.S. authorities to drop charges.

In a televised interview on Turkish broadcaster Kanal 7, Çavuşoğlu said the case was politically motivated and nothing would come of the case "if the law in the United States work", according to Reuters.

The Halkbank case could result in heavy fines and barring Halkbank from the U.S. financial system. Meanwhile, Ankara is still under risk of bipartisan sanction bills over its incursion in northeast Syria, which include measures against Halkbank for breaking Iran sanctions, mandate CAATSA sanctions for Turkey's S-400 purchase from Russia within 30 days, prohibit the purchase of sovereign debt from Turkey and will prohibit military assistance to Turkey.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-turkey-halkbank/turkey-says-nothing-will-come-of-halkbank-case-if-law-in-u-s-works-idUSKBN1WZ072