World Is Doomed Because of U.S. Justice System, Turkey’s President Warns
Turkish President Tayyip Erdońüan criticized the U.S. justice system on Friday after a prominent Turkish banker was convicted¬†of profiting by evading the sanctions on Iran, in a trial that has strained the U.S. government’s relations with NATO’s largest Muslim country.
The trial included testimony that alleged corruption among high-level Turkish officials, including Erdońüan,¬†Reuters reported. Erdońüan accused the U.S. of using the trial¬†and conviction as a means of undermining his country’s economy and leadership. “If this is the U.S. understanding of justice, then the world is doomed,” Erdońüan said during a news conference.
“The bilateral accords between us are losing their validity. I am saddened to say this, but this is how it will be from now on,” he continued.¬†“The United States is carrying out a chain of plots, and these are not just legal but also economic plots.” The Turkish leader called on the U.S. to¬†reconsider the¬†verdict.
Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at¬†Halkbank, was convicted on five of six counts, including bank fraud. He was¬†acquitted on a charge of¬†money laundering.
The verdict comes roughly a week after the U.S. and Turkey mutually¬†lifted visa restrictions¬†put in place amid a months-long diplomatic dispute linked¬†to a failed¬†coup in Turkey in 2016. Erdońüan has accused¬†Fethullah G√ľlen, a Turkish cleric who resides in the U.S., of being behind the coup. The U.S. government’s reluctance to extradite G√ľlen has strained its relations with Turkey.
Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevl√ľt √áavuŇüońülu, called on the U.S. to¬†honor the Turkish¬†government’s extradition request¬†in an op-ed published by¬†Foreign Policy¬†in May.¬†“Fetullah G√ľlen, who was declared by his cult as the ‘Imam of the Universe,’ has attempted to destroy democracy in Turkey. The people of Turkey expect the U.S. authorities to take effective legal measures against this threat to our security and democracy, as an ally should,”¬†√áavuŇüońülu¬†wrote.
There had¬†been¬†some signs that President Donald Trump would honor the request,¬†but G√ľlen now lives in Pennsylvania.
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