A U.S. judge on Oct. 1 refused to dismiss an indictment accusing Turkey's state-owned Halkbank of helping Iran evade American sanctions. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan rejected Halkbank's claim that its status as a Turkish “instrumentality” shielded it from prosecution because of sovereign immunity.
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel has asked the government to reveal who received millions of dollars of bribe from shady Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab. "It's said that $80 million of this money was given to a single politician. Will the Financial Crime Investigation Board, Turkish Treasury, Court of Accounts and other auditors be mobilized?" Özel asked.
Turkish state lender Halkbank has lost a bid to have the U.S. judge overseeing a criminal case accusing it of helping Iran evade American sanctions recuse himself. “Haklbank’s recusal motion is a belated rerun of the Zarrab recusal motion, supplemented by 1,014 additional pages of exhibits and two purported expert declarations,” the judge wrote.
Turkey’s state-run Halkbank, facing trial in the U.S. over charges of breaking sanctions on Iran, said on Aug. 10 that it was immune from prosecution and that U.S. laws did not cover its alleged misconduct. In a Manhattan court filing, Halkbank said its status as an "instrumentality" of Turkey shielded it from prosecution under principles of sovereign immunity.
RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin was appointed to Halkbank board membership after resigning from TÜRKSAT board membership and will receive multiple salaries as a result. "I asked the general manager of Halkbank about what kind of benefit they're expecting from Şahin, who doesn't know anything about economics or finance. They didn't respond," CHP deputy Atila Sertel said.
A lawyer for Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has said that the bank will ask the U.S. judge overseeing a criminal case accusing it of helping Iran evade American sanctions to recuse himself. Earlier in June, former US national security adviser John Bolton had said in his new memoir that Trump agreed to intervene in the Halkbank investigation at Erdoğan's request.
Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that a book by former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton had "misleading" and "manipulative presentations" of the conversations between President Erdoğan and U.S. President Trump. "It is clear that the goal of this mischaracterizations and falsehoods are driven by domestic political considerations as well as personal gain," Altun said.
There probably isn’t a journalist left on earth who hasn’t read John Bolton’s book, 'The Room Where It Happened'. Bolton first mentions Turkish President Erdoğan’s name on page 24. His impression of Erdoğan is not positive: Bolton thinks Erdoğan resembles the Italian dictator Mussolini.
Former national security adviser John Bolton has claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to intervene in a federal investigation into Halkbank upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request. Trump agreed to "take care of things" and said the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York were "Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people."
CHP deputy Mehmet Bekaroğlu criticized the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF) over not being transparent enough, saying that the fund "was becoming a parallel state." "It is really heading toward a parallel state, a parallel financial power. This is not right, and neither you nor the country benefit from it,” Bekaroğlu said during the meeting.
Turkey’s government is considering a capital injection worth 20 billion lira ($2.81 billion) for three state-owned banks -- Ziraat Bank, Halkbank and Vakıfbank -- so that they can provide loans to businesses hit by the coronavirus epidemic, two anonymous banking sources told Reuters.
Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank on March 31 pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in a federal court in Manhattan that it helped Iran evade US sanctions, in a case that has strained relations between the United States and Turkey. The plea – to charges including conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering – was entered by the bank’s US lawyer at a hearing conducted by telephone conference because of the coronavirus pandemic.
State-run Turkish bank’s decision to provide cash loans led to massive lines raising the risk of virus spread
Second largest state-run Turkish bank Halkbank's decision to provide shopkeepers with 25,000 TL in cash loans as a part of the struggle against the economic blowback of coronavirus has resulted in massive lines in front of the bank's branches. As long as the application process for these loans continue, both customers and bank personnel are at great risk of contracting coronavirus, economic consultant Meriç Dıraz warns.
A hearing scheduled for March 3 in the case against Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has been adjourned. In a letter to Judge Berman, the bank's lawyer Andrew Hruska asked for more time to obtain a written authorization from Halkbank indicating that he has been given permission by the bank's general manager to enter a plea on its behalf.
After more than three months of resistance, Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank has agreed to appear in the New York court to face criminal charges that it helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions. The bank is expected to enter its plea on March 3.