Graft suspect Aslan’s appointment to Ziraat Bank ‘decided’ by shareholders
The ex-Halkbank manager was appointed to the Ziraat Bank board.The decision to appoint Halkbank’s former general manager, who is also a key suspect in the Dec. 17 graft scandal, to another state-run lender was taken by shareholders, the latter’s CEO has said, breaking his silence over the controversial assignment.
“Board members are set by shareholders in every bank. The board members were decided by the shareholders in our bank as well,” Ziraat Bank CEO Hüseyin Aydın said.
The ex-manager of the state-run Halbank, Süleyman Aslan, one of the main suspects of the recent graft probe, was recently appointed to the Ziraat Bank board.
Aslan will hold his position for three years in what would be a confirmation of rumors that the government was warm to the idea of reassigning him to a position of active responsibility.
Aslan has become a notorious figure, especially after $4.5 million were found in shoeboxes at his home during the graft raids on Dec. 17, 2013. But Aslan denied any wrongdoing and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even claimed all of the cash was kept as “charity money.”
He still faces accusations of illegal transfers of gold to Iran in exchange for money via Halkbank in partnership with a ring formed by Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab.