Turkey to do whatever necessary if banking sector affected by US trial: Şimşek

Turkey to do whatever necessary if banking sector affected by US trial: Şimşek

ISTANBUL – Reuters
Turkey to do whatever necessary if banking sector affected by US trial: Şimşek

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said on Nov. 29 that Turkey will do whatever is necessary if its banking sector is affected by the U.S. trial of a Turkish bank executive in a case regarding a conspiracy to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

“We are at the back of the banking sector. We will do whatever is necessary if the sector is affected by the trial,” Şimşek said, as quoted by Reuters.

He added that the government saw the trial as “a case with political connotations,” while stressing that the sector has a “great capacity” to withstand any shocks.

Şimşek had earlier said market fluctuations besetting Turkey were “temporary” and would pass, including those stemming from the New York trial.

"There have been serious fluctuations in Turkish markets recently. We need to understand this calmly, correctly and without panicking,” he said in a speech on Nov. 22.

“These are temporary … The problems with the United States and the West are temporary,” he added.

Turkish Banks Association (TBB) head Hüseyin Aydın on Nov. 29 told Reuters that the sector expected the trial to be completed soon, saying its impact on Turkey would be “minimal.”

U.S. prosecutors on Nov. 28 said Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab agreed to testify against former Halkbank deputy general manager Hakan Atilla in a case about evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Ahead of the hearing on Nov. 28, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Sidhardha Kamaraju about who will attend the hearing as a witness. Kamaraju reportedly responded that Zarrab was pleading guilty and would be brought to the court on Nov. 29 as a witness against Atilla.

Zarrab stopped appearing in court a number of weeks ago, prompting speculation he would cut a deal and was cooperating with U.S. officials. A prosecutor reportedly said in court on Nov. 28 that he would testify as part of a plea deal but gave no other details on it.

Zarrab was detained last year on charges of violating sanctions against Iran while Atilla was arrested in the U.S. earlier this year on similar sanctions violations charges.

Turkey, united states, Reza Zarrab, Hakan Atilla