US attorney Bharara congratulates Gülen-supporting NBA player
NEW YORKU.S. prosecutor Preet Bharara, who has garnered fame in Turkey for launching a probe against controversial Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, has raised eyebrows by congratulating Turkish basketball player Enes Kanter at the end of the season.
Kanter, who plays center for Oklahoma City Thunder, is known as a keen follower of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and is a frequent visitor to his house in Pennsylvania.
“Although your title hunt is over, congrats to Enes Kanter and Oklahoma City Thunder on a great run,” wrote Bharara on his Twitter account on May 31 after the team lost against Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
Bharara sent the tweet as a reply to Kantar’s tweet sent on March 23.
“Proud of your good work. Keep it up!! Bharara The Justice Hunter,” wrote Kanter, sharing a photo of himself wearing a jersey with Bharara’s name on.
“Appreciate it sir. Thanks for the support. Proud of your great work. Keep doing what you are doing. Preet Bharara ‘The Justice Hunter,’” Kanter replied to Bharara’s tweet on May 31.
Shady businessman Reza Zarrab was accused of paying massive bribes to government officials, including senior ministers, in the December 2013 corruption cases. The investigations targeted figures close to the government and resulted in lasting enmity between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Gülen movement, as prosecutors close to the movement were said to have launched the probe.
The AKP has since been trying to crush its former close ally the Gülen movement, arguing that the group created a “parallel structure” within state institutions aimed at toppling the government.
Pro-government media has claimed that Bharara has connections to the Gülen movement and received a bribe to launch the investigation against Zarrab.
“Apparently … I’ve been featured in the cover of newspapers in Turkey with the suggestion that the reason I have brought the case – Preet Bharara, from Punjab-India, grew up in New Jersey, U.S. attorney in Manhattan – is because I have been bribed by pro-Turkish-government figures who hoped to overthrow the government in Turkey, to the tune of $2.5 million. A lot of silly things have been written about me in my time as [a] U.S. attorney, but I can confirm that that’s the silliest,” said Bharara on April 9 about the allegations.