Dec 14 2017

“Whether you call it Gülen or FETÖ, I am not a member,” policeman Korkmaz says

Former Turkish police investigator Hüseyin Korkmaz denied being involved with U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s network during his testimony in New York on Wednesday.

Korkmaz and others were called as witnesses against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former official at Turkish state lender Halkbank, who is charged with helping to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Korkmaz was quoted by Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld as saying: “Whether you call it the Gülen organization,” FETÖ or other organization, “I am not a member of that organization ... I am a police officer.”

Korkmaz was a ranking officer at the corruption desk until the Dec. 17-25, 2013 graft probe and said he listened to intercepts of telephone conversations between government officials and businessmen as part of an officially authorised investigation.

Korkmaz said Atilla, the single defendant at the trial, did not receive bribes, but named Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, and other ministers including Turkey’s current PM Binali Yıldırım, as part of a corruption network he investigated four years ago.

U.S. prosecutors believe the Turkish corruption network that Korkmaz has testified to is evidence of an international scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran through Halkbank.