The Gatestone Institute has posted an excellent analysis of Turkey’s activities to launder money to help Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, bypass sanctions.
Here are some excerpted highlights and a link to the report:
In the investigation, Zarrab was accused of running a network that laundered at least $87 billion to bypass U.S. and international sanctions on Iran, and bribing ministers, their sons and senior public officials in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the police found around $9 million in cash stuffed into shoeboxes at the home of Suleyman Arslan, then general manager of Halkbank, a government-owned bank that was instrumental in trade between Turkey and Iran. Then EU Minister, Egemen Bagis, was the other recipient of cash from Zarrab, according to the prosecutors. And Housing Minister Erdogan Bayraktar was accused of arranging multibillion dollar contracts for government-friendly companies. At the peak of the wave of arrests and investigation, Bayraktar would publicly say: “Whatever I have done, I have done it with [Erdogan’s] knowledge and orders.” And he would argue that “the prime minister [Erdogan] too should resign.”
A week after the investigation officially took off, three ministers resigned from cabinet, but that was not the end of the story. On the same day, a chief prosecutor in Istanbul ordered the detention of 30 more suspects on charges of bribes involving around $100 million. Among the top suspects were Erdogan’s son, Bilal, and Yasin al-Qadi, who had been put on a U.S. list of “specially designated global terrorists” for his alleged activity to sponsor terrorism.
Erdogan’s government quickly covered up the investigation; put the blame on an attempt to eliminate him, most notably by a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, in exile in the United States; purged the law enforcement officers whom the courts later sent to jail; released Zarrab and closed the case.