Zarrab case doesn’t concern Turkey, says Erdoğan

Zarrab case doesn’t concern Turkey, says Erdoğan

Zarrab case doesn’t concern Turkey, says Erdoğan

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The U.S. probe into Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-born Turkish businessman who was arrested in Miami on March 19 over Iran-related sanction charges, doesn’t concern Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, while calling on U.S. officials to act against institutions linked to Fethullah Gülen.

“The real money launderers are in Pennsylvania,” Erdoğan told journalists at a press meeting at Istanbul Atatürk Airport before leaving for a visit to the U.S. on March 29, in reference to Gülen, when asked about the Zarrab case.

“I wonder if the officials assessed their situation. The law offices in the U.S. have filed very interesting criminal complaints recently. As you already know, the parallel state structure has plenty of educational institutions in the U.S and among these institutions are the United States’ charter schools. They ripped these off very mischievously,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said Zarrab’s lawyers would give the necessary defense in the case and the arrest was not related to Turkey. 

Saying that the “rip off” was continuing, Erdoğan argued the priority of U.S. officials should be Gülen, a U.S.-based scholar who was once an ally to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) but is now accused of being the leader of a criminal organization and attempting to topple the government.

“They’ve never acted on these [money laundering accusations in the U.S.],” the president added. 

“This is not one person, 10 people, 100 people but thousands of people. They are making this practice here and we warned them about this. We said that this person is laundering money in the same way that he is laundering in our country and the people whom this person is coordinating with are either in jail in our country or on the run. Even though we announced this, unfortunately the officials in the U.S., which is our friend, didn’t show the slightest sensitivity to the subject,” Erdoğan said.