Former Treasury Official Slams Ex-Erdogan Deputy on Sanctions
MANHATTAN (Courthouse News) – A former deputy for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined an ever-growing list of Turkish officials accused of enabling sanctions violations on Friday during a money laundering trial in a New York federal courthouse.
In 2012, politician Ali Babacan served as then-Prime Minister Erdogan’s deputy, a position that Babacan would hold for three more years.
Babacan is now serving as a member of the Turkish parliament as a trial unfolds halfway across the world in New York, where prosecutors hope to convict banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla — a former manager at Turkey’s state-run Halkbank — of sanctions violations.
Former Treasury Department official David Cohen has been testifying for the U.S. government in that effort, and he told a jury today that Babacan’s intention to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran were so brazen that the deputy announced it publicly.
Cohen said that he warned Halkbank general manager Suleyman Aslan about the matter in a letter.