Turkey’s Erdoğan on Trump’s radar ahead of U.S. sanctions-busting trial

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for only the second time ever on Friday, saying that they would talk “about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East”.

Another thing on Erdoğan’s mind, however, will likely be the prosecution of Iranian–Turkish gold dealer Reza Zarrab and Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla; jury selection for their trial on charges of collaborating with Turkish officials to undermine U.N. sanctions on Iran begins on Monday.

It is widely believed that Zarrab has made a plea bargain with the prosecutors to supply information in return for a reduced sentence. That could possibly implicate officials close to Erdoğan.

Also on the agenda could be Erdoğan’s recent visit to Moscow and worries that the United State is losing influence in Turkey to Russia.

After the call, Trump tweeted, he would “be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.”