ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Tayyip Erdogan denounced U.S. justice on Friday and suggested Turkey could rethink some bilateral agreements with Washington, after a U.S. court convicted a Turkish banker in a trial that included testimony of corruption by top Turkish officials.
In his first public comments on Wednesday’s verdict, the Turkish president cast the case as American plot to undermine Turkey’s government and economy – an argument likely to resonate with nationalist supporters.
“If this is the U.S. understanding of justice, then the world is doomed,” Erdogan told a news conference before his departure to France for an official visit.
A U.S. jury convicted an executive of Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank (HALKB.IS) of evading Iran sanctions, at the close of the trial which has strained relations between the NATO allies. Some of the court testimony implicated senior Turkish officials, including Erdogan. Ankara has said the case was based on fabricated evidence.
Without being specific, Erdogan said the case put agreements between the two countries into jeopardy: “….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.”
Turkey’s foreign ministry on Thursday condemned the conviction as unprecedented meddling in its internal affairs. The row has unnerved investors and weighed on the lira currency, which hit a series of record lows last year. ….more here