Deputy PM opposes appointment of graft suspect Halkbank manager to Ziraat Bank: Report
Süleyman Aslan became a notorious figure after $4.5 million were found in shoeboxes during graft raids at his home. DHA PhotoDeputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has opposed the appointment of the ex-manager of the state-run Halbank, Süleyman Aslan, one of the main suspects of the recent graft probe, to the board of another state-run banking institution, media reports have said.
According to daily Vatan, Babacan objected to the rumored assignment of Aslan to the executive board of Turkey’s largest bank, Ziraat Bank, arguing that it would cause some “misperceptions.”
Aslan became a notorious figure after $4.5 million were found in shoeboxes during graft raids at his home, cash that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed was all kept as “charity money.”
Accused of illegal transfers of gold to Iran in exchange for money via Halkbank in partnership with a ring formed by Iranian-born Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, Aslan was replaced while still in custody as head of the bank by Ali Fuat Taşkesenlioğlu.
But he was reappointed to Halkbank’s executive board following his release after nearly two months in detention. Media reports claimed that Aslan was quickly reassigned to Ziraat Bank’s board a day after his board membership was terminated on March 31.
According to fresh rumors, government officials are seeking a post more out of the spotlight for Aslan. Vatan reported that one of the most plausible scenarios was Aslan’s appointment to the board of Turkish Satellite Communications Company, Türksat.
The report said top civil servants at the Transport Ministry as well as high-ranking officials at the Prime Ministry often have a seat on Türksat’s board, a position which allows them to enjoy certain advantages, including receiving extra wages.