Jan 05 2018

Turkey’s Erdogan Threatens To Cut Ties With US Over Convicting Of Halkbank Executive

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the United States could not speak about justice after a New York court convicted a Turkish banker of helping Iran evade nuclear sanctions and said relations with Washington would suffer as a result, the secular Sözcü newspaper said.

A U.S. federal court on Wednesday found Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty of five counts of aiding a complex scheme to bypass sanctions on Iran. The key player in the plot, Turkish-Iranian gold dealer Reza Zarrab, turned state’s witness and told the court Erdoğan had given the green light to the illicit trade and that ministers and officials had taken tens of millions of dollars in bribes to cover it up.

“The process at these trials and at these hearings was carried out in a very different way,” Erdoğan said. "If this is America's understanding of justice, then the world is in trouble."

The United States was carrying out a very serious string of conspiracies in the legal and economic realms, Erdoğan said.

"America needs to review its understanding of justice. Afterwards they should not try to give the world a lesson in justice," he said.

The Turkish government had now given the U.S. State Department 100 boxes of evidence for the extradition of exile cleric Fethullah Gülen, Erdoğan said, but no action had been taken against the man he blames for both the 2016 failed coup and the Atilla trial.

“In that case, both international law in our bilateral relations and bilateral law loses its force,” Erdoğan said. “I say with regret that from now on, things will be carried out like that.”

He continued: “The bilateral accords between us are shedding their validity. I’m saddened to say this, however that is how it is going to be to any extent further.”

“The United States is carrying out … a chain of plots, and these are not just legal but also economic plots,” Mr Erdogan stated.

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