US trying to discredit Turkey for not submitting to ‘scenarios’: Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 3 accused Washington of trying to discredit Turkey for “not submitting to scenarios,” in a reference to a New York trial of former Halkbank deputy general manager Hakan Atilla over evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.
“They [U.S.] are trying to punish, judge and discredit us because we did not submit to those scenarios. The scenario and the plot are obvious and they are doing this with their co-operators in our country. They are doing it with FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization]. You will not be able to deceive us, you should know that,” Erdoğan said at the provincial congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Ağrı.
“They aggravated the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] for that. They put FETÖ to the front and sent Deash [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL] to our country and even now they are using the person who is the head of the main opposition, also known as the main ‘treason party,’ for the same purpose,” he added, referring to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who has recently alleged that the president and his relatives had off-shore accounts.
Speaking about the trial in New York, Erdoğan said: “They wish to obtain the results they could not in the past in our country, with the same mastermind, material and scenario thousands of miles away.”
“Our nation should know that these attacks, defamations and games are not independent of each other. All are aimed at the same thing: To make Turkey kneel down and to pit us against each other. They can try as hard as they like but they will not succeed,” he added.
Erdoğan’s remarks came a day after he said Turkey could never be “condemned by virtual courts” in the U.S.
“My country can never be condemned by virtual courts set up by FETÖ scoundrels and fake representatives,” Erdoğan said during a speech in the eastern province of Kars.
“Someone has gotten up and decided they will try my country in their rigged courts. Don’t bother!” Erdoğan added.
Since Zarrab became the prosecution’s star witness in the trial, Atilla is now the lone man in the dock accused of violating sanctions, bribery and money laundering.
Zarrab has taken the stand three times since Nov. 29, claiming he bribed former Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and was involved in the multi-billion-dollar gold-for-oil scheme.
In his speech in Ağrı, the president also stressed the unity of Turkey while addressing citizens of Kurdish origin. He said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could not represent them, claiming that foreign circles were using the group as a proxy.
“Nobody [in Turkey] can say they are oppressed because of their race or religion,” he stated.
“We are against both Kurdish racism and Turkish racism,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said he would always bring up problems Kurds faced in Syria during meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, when the two leaders were still close allies.