Nov 20 2017

Sanctions case targets Turkish leadership - Erdoğan aide

A New York trial of two suspects on charges of circumventing U.S. sanctions on Iran is aimed at implicating Turkey's political leadership, a senior aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

The U.S. Justice Department should intervene swiftly in the trial, due to start on Nov. 27, if it wants to "avoid disgrace", Ilnur Çevik told state-run TRT Radio.

Both the prosecutor and the judge are linked to the movement of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, Çevik said. Turkey accuses Gülen and his followers of orchestrating a failed military coup last year and a corruption investigation that implicated Erdoğan and his close circle in 2013.

The court of the Southern District of New York has now been seized by Gülen and he wants to use the case to bring down the government, Çevik said. Gülen has denied involvement in the coup attempt.