US charges against Turkish ex-minister political: Deputy PM
U.S. charges against a Turkish former minister over violating U.S. sanctions on Iran are politically motivated, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Sept. 14.
Speaking at state-run Anadolu Agency’s Editor’s Desk in Ankara, Bozdağ described the move as an attempt by Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members to take revenge for last year’s defeated coup attempt.
FETÖ is using the U.S. justice system against Turkey, Bozdağ said, adding that the Turkish government had warned the U.S. authorities about the issue.
An indictment was announced on Sept. 6 in New York, charging former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and three other Turkish nationals for violating U.S. sanctions imposed against Iran.
The charges stem from a probe into Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader arrested in the U.S. last year for alleged sanctions evasion.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also touched on the issue during a press conference in Ankara on Sept. 14. “The inclusion of Zafer Çağlayan in Zarrab’s case has been done with political purposes,” he said.
“How did the U.S. prosecutor get hold of the proofs that are the subject of this indictment? There is an investigation that is run by political purposes,” Kalın said.