What we needed was a prosecutor to love
After waking up quite early on March 22 and having my required dose of coffee, I took a look at Twitter, which is my tool to measure the blood pressure of the nation.
A Turkish citizen of Iranian origin, Reza Zarrab, had been arrested in the U.S. I get that, okay. But who was this guy Preet Bharara that was mentioned in many tweets?
Why were people inviting him to their houses? What was all this cheer and festivity for?
What is the secret behind the almost-drunken tone of messages like, “I love yooouuu so much dude; I will kiss you?” Why were love, respect and loyalty offered to Bharara in both English and Turkish, and most of the time in a bilingual form?
Following a tweet, when I reached his Twitter account, I was enlightened. Bharara was the prosecutor heading the operation that ended with the arrest (for now) of Zarrab. Immediately his background and information about his identity appeared there. His mother is Hindu, his father is Sikh, he was born in 1968 and he went to the U.S. when he was 2 years old. He graduated from Columbia Law and then Harvard, and then he was on the team of Senator Chuck Schumer before he was a prosecutor.
He didn’t earn his reputation as a “crusader” attorney for nothing. He has defeated street gangs. He has defeated one of the most famous mafia families, the Gambinos. He has overcome “dirty” public employees and senators. As an “action man,” he has organized operations in 25 different countries and found and jailed arms and drugs barons from wherever they were hiding. Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin was so irritated by these operations that the prosecutor’s name was included on the list of names banned from entering Russia.
Bharara has made life unbearable for giant multinational companies and made them pay astronomical prices.
He has caught the moneybags of Wall Street, who were considered immune. Because of this Wall Street operation, he was on the cover of Time magazine. He has appeared on most powerful/influential people lists.
Bharara is supported by U.S. President Barack Obama and he was unanimously selected for his position by the American senate, but despite this level of fame and stardom, he was a “super” prosecutor who only had 5,000 Twitter followers until two days ago. By the time I started following him (after the Zarrab arrest) he had reached 9,000 followers. When I looked a few hours later, he had reached 20,000.
To obtain more reliable figures for the “social media explosion” he is experiencing, I asked my friends at Somera, which conducts social media analyses. They shared this note with me at around 3 p.m. on March 23: “Preet Bharara’s number of followers was 8,000 on March 21... It increased 85 percent on March 22 to reach 15,000. On March 23, it was 171,000. The increase in the meantime is 2,000 percent. Out of the 152,350 messages sent mentioning Bharara, 97,298 of them, in other words 63 percent, were in Turkish.”
Most probably his number of followers will have exceeded 200,000 by the time you are reading this. You must have come across the prosecutor’s most liked and most shared messages and their answers by now.
It is impossible to predict how the Zarrab case will develop. It is not even definite how it will start. I hope we will be able to distinguish between what is correct and what is not among scenarios such as, “He went to the U.S. after a deal; Iran has sold him out; when the embargo was lifted he became useless. There is another calculation involved...”
For the moment, it is fun enough in itself to monitor the interest and tension a prosecutor in New York has created.
Let us say “justice for everyone” and continue to monitor closely or from afar the ventures of the swell prosecutor.