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

Who are these pro-Erdogan mobs who even beheaded a soldier?

Hours after the failed coup attempt, pro-Erdogan mobs flooded the streets of Turkey. They behead soldiers, storm military headquarters. But who are they?

Turkey wants India to crack down on ‘Gulen’ schools

Turkey has asked India to shut down schools linked to Fethullah Gullen — the second time the country has made such a request in its attempt to bring down the cleric it accuses of masterminding July’s failed coup.

Man campaigning for anti-Gülen protest in US Turkish Communist Party member

A statement on the herkul.org website, which broadcasts weekly speeches of Gülen, said Gülen’s doors are open to everyone. “We are following the path of 13th-century Sufi philosopher and poet Rumi. Our hearts and doors are open to everyone. We have all kinds of tea and refreshments here. Freedom of expression and thought is what we have also been defending unless it contains insult.

The Journalists and Writers Foundation’s suggestions for a constitution

Ihsan Yilmaz Several civil society organizations have been presenting their suggestions for a new constitution to a parliamentary sub-committee. A few days ago, the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) was received and listened to by the committee. The GYV did not present a full package but summarized its understanding on the most sensitive issues that […]

The Other Side of the Ocean – What Happened in Pennsylvania?

During the time when the Gezi events were at their peak, a certain group in the United States planned to carry out a demonstration in the area where Fethullah Gulen is currently residing by organizing over the Internet, similar to the way they had in Turkey. For weeks they shared with tens of thousands of […]

“Sharing Coexistence Experiences” panel took place in Italy

“From 1990 onwards, dialogue was institutionalized and today’s Intercultural Dialogue Platform came into being, thanks to the initiatives of JWF Honorary President Fethullah Gulen. Consequently, joints projects have been carried out in cooperation with Msgr.. Marovitch from the Catholic world, who had been following the footsteps of Dubois; alongside Armenian, Jewish, Assyrian representatives.

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

Students of Turkish schools in Romania impress in science competition

Grand Mufti of Egypt: “At least 10 Turkish schools must be opened in Egypt”

Gulen’s books draw large interest at Indonesia’s book fair

Woman detained over links to Gülen movement after giving birth

Journalists and Writers Foundation to hold peace conference at UN

Ten thoughts on the [Erdogan] way of trolling

A Very Predictable Coup?

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News