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Turkey’s options in the Zarrab case

21 11 266

After a week of intrigue and speculation, Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab has finally pleaded guilty to charges of evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, agreeing to testify against his co-defendant, former Halkbank Deputy Manager Hakan Atilla. Thus the trial that we knew as the “Zarrab case” has actually become the “U.S. vs. Mehmet Hakan Atilla” case.

It is a matter of concern that Zarrab’s confessions, which have started to drop like bombshells, could pave the way for new indictments against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close circle, exposing Turkey to further economic and political damage. In this respect, the following weeks will be critical in terms of determining the future of Turkish-U.S. ties, which are already hanging by a thread.

Ankara has portrayed the Zarrab trial as another international conspiracy aimed at toppling Erdoğan. It is true that Turkey’s relations with the West have become considerably strained over the last few years. Undoubtedly, Ankara’s recent rapprochement with Russia and Iran should make Washington........

© Hürriyet Daily News