MHP leader Bahçeli insistently calls Zarrab as ‘charlatan’
Bahçeli defined Zarrab as a “charlatan” in a speech delivered during a rally in Kahramanmaraş only a few days before the March 30 local elections. DHA Photo
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has displayed his resolve for calling Reza Zarrab a “charlatan,” despite having been sued for such wording.
Zarrab is an Iranian-Azeri businessman and gold dealer who is among the suspects in the graft probe implicating four former members of the Cabinet.
Bahçeli defined Zarrab as a “charlatan” in a speech delivered during a rally in Kahramanmaraş only a few days before the March 30 local elections. Zarrab has been accused of bribing the former ministers to cover up a deal that allegedly saw Iran sell oil and gas to Turkey in return for cash that was then converted into gold by a Turkish bank and exported to Tehran, often via Dubai.
In recent days, Zarrab filed a complaint against Bahçeli, arguing that he insulted him and attacked his personality rights through labeling him a “charlatan,” and demanded 100,000 Turkish Liras as compensation.
“Isn’t it insincere to encourage this person for indecently suing everybody who made well-directed observations about him, after releasing him from prison while defining the charlatan Iranian as a philanthropist?” Bahçeli said on April 15, while addressing a parliamentary group meeting at his party.
Following the meeting, reporters speaking with Bahçeli recalled that he used the word “charlatan,” despite being sued for using that word.
“This is a good development. We will continue using the word ‘charlatan.’ If a legal process starts, then that process will go deep, to the Dec. 17 [operation],” Bahçeli said, referring to a huge graft probe involving the government which became public on Dec. 17, 2013.
Only days after Zarrab was arrested as part of the probe, Erdoğan publicly stated that he knew Zarrab to be a philanthropist.
“The legal process which has been blocked would begin in this manner,” Bahçeli also said.
In February, Zarrab filed a complaint against the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, too. Similarly in the case with Bahçeli, Zarrab suggested that he was insulted and his personality rights were violated by the CHP leader.
After being arrested on Dec. 17, Zarrab was released on Feb. 28.