Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the United States for the conviction of a top Turkish banker in a US trial, saying Washington is hatching a “chain of plots” against Ankara.
A US federal court on Wednesday convicted an executive of Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank — Mehmet Hakan Atilla — for allegedly evading sanctions imposed against Iran.
“If this is the US understanding of justice, then the world is doomed. There can be no such understanding of justice,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday, reacting to the conviction.
The Turkish president called Hakan Atilla’s case “full of contradictions.”
The Turkish government says the case is based on fabricated evidence and influenced by US-based Turkish cleric and Erdogan’s political foe Fethullah Gulen.
In his Friday remarks, President Erdogan said the American plots against Turkey went beyond legal ones.
“The United States is carrying out … a chain of plots, and these are not just legal but also economic plots,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish government, which accuses Gulen of having masterminded a failed coup in Turkey in 2016, has repeatedly requested his extradition from the US. But the governments of former US president Barack Obama and incumbent Donald Trump have refused.
“Well then what are the international and bilateral legal agreements doing? They are becoming obsolete. I am saddened to say this but after this, the process will work like that,” Erdogan said.
Referring to the apparent safety and comfort Gulen enjoys in the US, Erdogan said, “Those who are attempting a coup against us in my country… live like pashas in 400 acres of land,” using the title of former senior officials in the Ottoman times.
(sometimes this Erdogan guy is quite likeable)