Turkey - 02

Turkey: Turkish State Bank Executive Arrested in New York: Implications for US-Turkey Relations

On 27 March Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy CEO of Halkbank, Turkey’s largest state-owned bank, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He was detained on charges related to the infamous case involving Babak Zanjani, an Iranian business magnate who played a role in bypassing US-led sanctions. The head of the UAE-based conglomerate Sorinet Group, Zanjani was charged with holding $2.7bn owed to the Iranian Oil Ministry in a sanctions-busting scheme. Another figure associated with the scandal is Reza Zarrab, who has been identified by Turkish media as the Turkey-based handler for Zanjani’s network (see our Personality of the Week).

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