FETÖ, CHP see Zarrab trial as political opportunity

First, it was called the Zarrab trial. Now, the high-profile court case in New York is the Mehmet Hakan Atilla trial. Whatever it is called, the case is a dirty assault weapon over which Turkey's enemies have been drooling.

FETÖ CHP see Zarrab trial as political opportunity
The courthouse in which the Iran Sanctions Case is taking place. Anadolu Agency

First, it was called the Zarrab trial. Now, the high-profile court case in New York is the Mehmet Hakan Atilla trial. Whatever it is called, the case is a dirty assault weapon over which Turkey's enemies have been drooling.

Turkey's enemies have mobilized their forces to ensure that the trial can be used against the entire country. To be clear, they take the allegations out of context in an effort to influence public opinion. They would like everyone to believe that the trial is supposedly overseen by an international court and Turkey, along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is supposedly being put on trial.

Now, let's a take a minute to review the facts. The Atilla trial is a politically motivated case that operates on the basis of U.S. laws. In addition to being unjust and deeply political, it is also about violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The charges brought against the defendant are clear – violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by transferring money to Iran and Iranian institutions, defrauding U.S. financial institutions, money laundering and bank fraud.

Although Judge Richard Berman told members of the jury that the Atilla trial is a financial case rather than a terrorism case, Turkey's sworn enemies have been desperately trying to present it as a case about terrorism and corruption. It is an undeniable fact that the Atilla trial was tailored and manufactured to force Turkey into a corner. As a matter of fact, Turkey's enemies have been trying to kill multiple birds with one stone.

However hard they try, though, their efforts will be futile.

After all, from the Turkish perspective, there are no concerns related to the Atilla trial. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Turkey's actions were in compliance with international law.

2. The U.S. sanctions were not binding for Turkey.

3. Turkey continued its trade relations with Iran and adhered to the U.N. sanctions.

4. It would be unimaginable for Turkey to stop trading with Iran, its neighbor, at a time when countries such as Germany and France maintained their trade relations with Iran and implemented major projects in that country.

5. Iran has always been a major provider of energy for Turkey. If Turkey were to unconditionally accept the U.S. sanctions on Iran, its energy policy would have been severely damaged.

6. This case rests on doctored evidence and illegal documents manufactured by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Turkey.

7. It remains unclear how U.S. prosecutors were able to obtain the evidence. The fact that the origins of the doctored evidence are unclear undermines the trial's credibility.

8. Judge Berman has proven ties to FETÖ.

9. Preet Bharara, the former prosecutor who brought the charges, has been openly pro-FETÖ since the July 15 coup attempt. He claimed that the "Erdoğan regime" arrested the wives of police affiliated with the Zarrab case.

10. Certain witnesses in the Atilla case are FETÖ members for who Turkey has issued warrants for their arrest.

Ahead of the 2019 elections in Turkey, FETÖ and the Republican People's Party (CHP) are trying to turn the Atilla case into a political opportunity. For them, the ongoing trial is an excellent opportunity to fuel anti-Erdoğanism. Together, they want to revive the coup attempt of Dec. 17 and Dec. 25, 2013.

Let me be clear that neither Turkey nor its people and their leader will keep silent in the face of this conspiracy. One way or another, the architects of this conspiracy and their collaborators will be held accountable.

Source: Daily Sabah

Fahrettin Altun
Fahrettin Altun is a Professor at Ibn Haldun University and the General Coordinator of SETA Foundation, Istanbul. Altun is the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly political magazine Kriter, the author of “Modernleşme Kuramı: Eleştirel Bir Giriş" and the co-author of “Freedom Press in Turkey.” Currently a columnist for Daily Sabah and Sabah newspapers, he is also a weekly analyst on “Enine Boyuna” and “Dışa Bakış” – two television series aired live on TRT 1 and TRT Haber respectively. Altun’s research areas include sociology of media and political communication, Turkish modernization and political culture.