PM defends Zarrab, suspected of leading bribery ring


Date posted: December 25, 2013

ANKARA
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has praised Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab — who stands accused of being the ringleader of a shady money-laundering and gold-smuggling ring set up to dodge sanctions against Iran — for his contribution to the country’s economy.

“Zarrab exports gold and I know that he is involved in charity activities as well,” Erdoğan said in a rally at İstanbul Atatürk Airport on Tuesday, after he returned from Pakistan.

Erdoğan said that if there were evidence against Zarrab, then why not catch him in the act and get video footage?

Fifty-two people, including bureaucrats, well-known businesspeople and the sons of three ministers, were detained on Dec. 17 in a corruption investigation that has shaken Turkey’s political and business elite and pushed three ministers to resign on Wednesday. Zarrab is alleged to have bribed three ministers and their sons a total of TL 137 million ($66 million) to help him disguise money laundering operations. Halkbank and its general manager, Süleyman Aslan, also under arrest, were involved in Turkey’s gold trade with Iran.

“Is there any evidence that proves the relationship between what has been found in the [Halkbank general] manager’s house and the bank? I have no doubt that he [Aslan] is innocent.”

Erdoğan went on to deny the allegations of corruption and called the investigation an attack on the government, society and the “national will.”

When asked if the probe was a bid to tarnish his reputation, the prime minister said anyone attempting such a thing would fail.

Graft probe came after Gezi protests

Erdoğan blamed the probe on the same “silent resistance” that he said was behind the demonstrations against the government in the Gezi Park movement over the summer.

“It is sad to see that some are acting as subcontractors in this probe, which has been going on since the Gezi protests. We have patience now and will always have it,” Erdoğan said.

In his previous speeches, Erdoğan has suggested that the operation is part of a “psychological war” against the government.

“We have seen those who portrayed themselves as brothers speaking curses,” the prime minister said, referring to the Hizmet movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fetullah Gülen.

The influential scholar spoke the first curse of his life on Saturday in comments that many interpreted as an attack on the ruling party.

“Those who don’t see the thief but go after those trying to catch the thief, who don’t see the murder but try to defame others by accusing innocent people — let God bring fire to their houses, ruin their homes, break their unities,” Gülen said in a video recording uploaded to herkul.org, a website that usually publishes his speeches.

Gülen first recalled his earlier teachings and said that he had always emphasized that individual crimes should not be made public and that Muslims should keep the misdeeds of others “secret.” He added that the important part of respecting human beings is embracing them wholeheartedly and treating them as “you would treat your own child.”

He said that a Muslim should behave according to the teachings of Quran and the Prophet Muhammad regardless of how others behave. “In this framework, being occupied with someone else’s flaws is absolutely not a right thing,” Gülen added.

Gülen said there is an “asymmetrical assault” on the Hizmet movement and urged members of the movement to stand firm and trust in God.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 25, 2013


Related News

Zaman daily launches news portal in Kurdish language

The Zaman daily has broken new ground by launching a news portal that will present reports in the Kurdish language.

US Human Rights Report: Tens of thousands jailed in Turkey with little clarity on charges

The 2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices — the Human Rights Reports — released by the US State Department on Friday said that Turkish courts had imprisoned tens of thousands of people with little clarity on charges and evidence over their alleged links with a failed coup in July 2016 that was blamed on the Gülen movement.

Turkish army profiled Tahşiyeciler as serving al-Qaeda

The 13 March 2009 report, prepared by Turkish General Staff Intelligence Unit Head, Lieutenant General Hakkı Pekin, reveals the Tahşiyeciler group’s ideology strongly aligned with al-Qaeda, viewing its leader Osama Bin Laden as Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam.

Pro-Erdoğan journalists call for assassination of Gülen followers abroad

Journalists Cem Küçük and Fuat Uğur, who are staunch supporters of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made a call on Thursday for the assassination of the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement who are abroad during a live broadcast on TGRT news channel.

Worldview: No evidence, no extradition of Pa. cleric to Turkey

That’s the claim of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is demanding that the United States extradite Fethullah Gulen, a 77-year-old Turkish cleric living on a 26-acre retreat in Saylorsburg, whom he blames for orchestrating the failed coup.

Boat carrying Turkish asylum seekers capsizes off Greece, killing 3 children and 3 others

At least 6 people, including 3 children, were killed after a boat carrying Turkish asylum seekers capsized in the Aegean Sea on Sunday.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish Gov’t media targets exiled journalists, their lives at risk

Bosnians Protest at Student’s Arrest in Turkish Crackdown

Dialogue Eurasia: Humanitarian Davos

Australian Relief Organization completes orphanage refurbishment project in Malawi

Fethullah Gülen grieving for Islamic world amid Eid al Fitr holiday

Turkish school opens in Canada

Turkish schools are selected best high schools in Mongolia

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News