Bharara partner of Gülenists in operation against Turkey: Justice minister
DÜZCEManhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired on March 11, is in league with the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen against Turkey, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said, adding that his firing was “totally the decision of the U.S. government.”
Bharara, who garnered fame in Turkey for launching a probe against a controversial Turkish-Iranian businessman, was asked to resign, but was fired after his refusal to do so.
“Prosecutor Bharara is the partner of an operation carried out by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization terror group’s leader, Gülen, and his terrorists using Reza Zarrab against Turkey. It’s very clear,” Bozdağ said at an event in the northwestern province of Düzce on March 12.
Zarrab was arrested in the U.S. last year on charges that he conspired to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions for the Iranian government or other entities to evade U.S. sanctions.
He is widely known in Turkey, as his name was embroiled in the December 2013 graft operations that involved four former ministers and other state officials.
The case targeted figures close to the government and resulted in lasting enmity between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Gülenists, widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt.
Four former cabinet members, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muahmmer Güler, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış and Urban Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, were accused in the probe before they were acquitted by parliament.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously called the December 2013 graft probes as a coup plot.
Bozdağ said Bharara “is a person who tries to realize the wishes of the Fethullahist terrorists.”
“We know Bharara well, we see the things he is doing and how he violates the law. It’s the will of the U.S. government to remove him from duty and we have nothing to say to that. However, we always saw him as a prosecutor who used the law as a sword against Turkey and a person who tried to complete what the terrorist organization couldn’t complete in Turkey in the U.S.,” Bozdağ said.