Atilla sanctions case in US part of a ‘new coup attempt’ against Turkey: Erdoğan
The recent New York court case against Turkish banker Hakan Atilla over breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran is part of an “attempt to stage a new coup” in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 9.
“Those who could not succeed in the [military] coup attempt in Turkey on July 15,  are now searching for a different attempt in our country,” Erdoğan said during his weekly address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“The case [against Atilla] in the U.S. is the address of this political coup attempt,” he added.
Atilla, the 47-year-old former deputy chief executive officer of state lender Halkbank, was on Jan. 4 found guilty of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, committing crimes to deceive the U.S., and defrauding U.S. banks.
The jury’s verdict on Jan. 4 came after more than three weeks of testimonies and four days of deliberation.
The situation in Syria is just one of many issues straining ties between Turkey and the U.S., which have also been troubled by Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided” capital of Israel.
Erdoğan again blasted the move but said the reaction against it was positive.
“The days are not far away when we will embrace Jerusalem, which we are able to see in our dreams, with our hearts. The spoils of Israel are dragging the region and the world into trouble. We will continue to be with our Palestinian brothers until the end,” he said.
On Dec. 21, an overwhelming majority of the U.N.’s 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution on Jerusalem, calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. A total of 128 members voted in favor of the Jerusalem resolution, nine countries - Guatemala one of them - voted against and 35 others abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.