CHP leader: President Erdoğan closed Reza Zarrab file

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu showed a document about gold trader Reza Zarrab, showing that Turkey's intel agency warned Erdoğan on the activities of Zarrab in April 2013. Kılıçdaroğlu accuses Erdoğan's government of giving state secrets to Zarrab in exchange for money
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 21:56

Turkey's parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu delivered a harsh speech on Dec. 5, accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP government of betraying the Republic of Turkey by providing Reza Zarrab with state secrets in exchange for money.

"Who did provide such information to Reza Zarrab? Your ministers and your government provided all of them. Your government betrayed the Republic of Turkey. Your government provided them in exchange for money," Kılıçdaroğlu said in Ankara.


Referring to the initial investigation regarding the corruption scandal that revealed Reza Zarrab’s bribery links to the ministers from the AKP party in December 2013, Kılıçdaroğlu showed a document, demonstrating that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had sent a warning report on April 18, 2013, to then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The MİT report, which had been sent directly to then-PM Erdoğan a couple of months before the corruption scandal was revealed, reads: "According to intelligence info collected from a sensitive source, Iran-origin Turkish citizen Rıza Zarraf, dealing with gold and currency trade at Grand Bazaar, has close ties to Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler, and took steps for the approval of his brother Mohammed Zarraf’s citizenship of Turkey."

The MİT report concludes: "Within the context of Iran’s/Iranian’s money transfers despite the economic embargo imposed on Iran, R. Zarraf might be included in the list of banned people by the U.S. in the near future; providing that the existing ties of R. Zarraf, drawing public attention due to his activities in Turkey, to Economy Minister Z. Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler are revealed, the issue in question might be used against the government."

Kılıçdaroğlu blamed then-PM Erdoğan for covering up this Turkish intelligence file of Reza Zarrab despite the pre-warning report of MİT. Kılıçdaroğlu called on PM Binali Yıldırım to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the case of Reza Zarrab, who is now testifying against Turkey in a New York court for having evaded the U.S. sanctions against Iran. "Let’s not leave the case to the U.S. judiciary, let’s clean up our own mess," Kılıçdaroğlu said.



Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Erdoğan’s previous statements as well. President Erdoğan accused the businessmen who moved assets abroad of committing "treason", adding that his government should put an end to this practice. However, Erdoğan changed his tone just one day after his previous statement and said, "I do not have any instructions for the restriction on capital flows."  

"You will release all the lawmakers and journalists if you want to attract foreign capital to Turkey, you will stop imposing pressure on the courts and the universities. You will reinstate the academics [who were dismissed via state of emergency decrees]. You will reinstate Nuriye and Semih [referring to the recently released hunger-striking educators],” Kılıçdaroğlu said  

Calling on President Erdoğan to explain how the government used 30-billion dollar for the Syrian refugees, Kılıçdaroğlu said that they would punish the AKP party at the ballot box in 2019 thanks to the women’s movement.