Graft suspect Halkbank ex-manager appointed as new board member of state-run Ziraat Bank
According to Reuters, Aslan’s fresh appointment has been communicated to the Public Disclosure Market (KAP). DHA PhotoThe ex-manager of the state-run Halbank, Süleyman Aslan, one of the main suspects of the recent graft probe, has been appointed to the board of another state-run banking institution, Ziraat Bank.
According to Reuters, Aslan is expected to begin active duty in Turkey’s largest bank after taking his oath on April 8.
Reuters has reported that the board meeting decision on the new board members, which also included Aslan’s appointment, was approved on March 7 and communicated to the Public Disclosure Market (KAP).
Aslan will hold his position for three years in what would be a confirmation of rumors that the government was warm to the idea of reinstating him on an active responsibility.
The ex-Halkbank manager has become a notorious figure, especially after $4.5 million were found in shoeboxes at his home during the graft raids on Dec. 17, 2013.
But Aslan denied any wrongdoing and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even claimed all of the cash was kept as “charity money.”
He still faces accusations of illegal transfers of gold to Iran in exchange for money via Halkbank in partnership with a ring formed by Iranian-born Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab.
Despite being replaced as head of the bank while still in custody by Ali Fuat Taşkesenlioğlu, Aslan was controversially reappointed to the board of his ex-bank after his release on Feb. 14, where he remained until March 31.
According to rumors Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, former economy minister, opposed Aslan’s appointment to Ziraat Bank, arguing that it would cause “misperceptions.”
The government refused all allegations regarding the Dec. 17 graft probe, claiming the whole investigation was a probe orchestrated by the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.