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Bekir Bozdağ: Reza Zarrab being held hostage in the USA

In the statement made by Deputy Prime-Minister and Government Spokesman Bekir Bozdağ following the Cabinet meeting, he said with reference to the scandal at NATO, “Turkey is a respected member of NATO. It will continue to make its contributions after this, too.”
Yayınlanma tarihi: 20 Kasım 2017 Pazartesi, 17:15

The Cabinet was convened under the chair of President Tayyip Erdoğan. The meeting at the Presidential Palace was convened at 11.30. The meeting ended having lasted two hours and ten minutes. Deputy Prime-Minister and Government Spokesman Bekir Bozdağ made a statement following the meeting. Here are the key points from Bozdağ’s statement:

(The scandal at the NATO exercise) This is one of the biggest scandals in NATO’s history. It is a blatant overstepping of the mark and is an unacceptable situation. Turkey took the necessary honourable stance and immediately withdrew its troops from the exercise. This attack was not purely an attack and disrespect directed at our first President, the war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and our most recent president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was blatant disrespect directed at the eighty million Turkish people and state of the Republic of Turkey. We react positively to their having commenced an administrative investigation into them and having apologised, but we wish to state that we do not see this incident as being attributable to individuals. This does not appear to be a situation that can be accounted for solely with reference to individuals. It does not appear to be an affair that was conducted as the result of carelessness. The conducting of procedures relating purely to two people does not amount to the investigating and shedding light on all aspects of this incident. We want procedures to be conducted into the top brass, commanders and so on, and for it to be established if they have responsibility. We unequivocally state that it must not be covered up.


NATO officials must not permit anti-Turkish circles to influence NATO and to infiltrate affairs and procedures relating to NATO and to cast a baleful shadow over its activities. The endeavour for use to be made of those who are in solidarity with organisations that Turkey sees as having a terrorist nature is also absolutely unacceptable. If those adjunctive to the organisations influence employees in international organisations of this kind, we may encounter many further negative instances of this kind. Turkey is a respected member of NATO. It will continue to make its contributions after this, too, but it is impossible for us to consent to the attack and vile act staged against the Turkish people, their state, the war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. I wish to state that we greet with satisfaction the adoption of a common stance by the main opposition and the opposition.


(Erdoğan’s interest rate announcement) The AK Party governments are governments that have succeeded in combatting high interest rates and high inflation. Currently, interest rates are low and inflation is low to an extent that bears no comparison to interest rates in the first period. But, it is extremely important for them to fall even further. Our government is working seriously to this end. Our President’s approach is no secret. It is a fact that positive developments are not to be expected wherever interest rates are high. The business of bringing down interest rates has its own internal rules. It will operate within the rules. This matter was not discussed today, but there is nothing new about our President’s complaint and intention for it to be brought down. When there is a break from routine, the taking of steps while thinking inside the box by the Central Bank and those who perform other functions does not for sure always lead to positive results.


(Work on new decrees with the force of law) Work on new decrees with the force of law was broached. Fresh decrees with the force of law will emerge in the coming days. We will publish two decrees such that there is both a measure and regulation decree.


(Reza Zarrab trial) We have remarked on this matter previously. The Reza Zarrab trial is an open conspiracy directed at Turkey. It is a political trial and is devoid of legal foundation. It is nothing more than a repetition involving the US judiciary of the attempted coup using the law that FETO was unable to pull off in the 17-25 December process. It is not legal. The fruit of a poisonous tree is also poisonous. They are conducting a trial as if non-existent documents were in their possession. Economic relations between Turkey and Iran in their entirety both conform to Turkey’s national law and conform to international law in this regard. Turkey is a law-based state and conducts all commercial transactions on this basis. There is absolutely no question of a breach of the law having been detected.

It is abundantly clear that the aim is to damage Turkey’s economic relations. They will continue to be managed in the same fashion. Nobody should have any doubt about this. This trial is political and is devoid of legal foundation. It is a conspiracy trial against Turkey. Those conducting the trial are applying pressure to the defendants in the trial. They are virtually in the position of hostages. If you consent to such-and-such a statement you will get off with such-and-such a penalty. They are forcing them to cast aspersions that accuse Turkey and will assist in a ruling emerging to Turkey’s detriment. There is in fact no true counterpart to these things.


How was the data and so-called evidence used in this trial obtained? Where was it obtained? From whom and how did you obtain it? Are these in their original form or copies? Did you or did you not play a part in the processes leading to their creation? If so, what are you in possession of? With reference to documents in Turkey, on what basis has the FBI confirmed them? Did it confirm them just because there were documents? Does the confirmation of an FBI agent count for anything? No. Did it get these things that have been put together from those who put them together? All of this will come to light. This is a conspiracy directed at Turkey.

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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Bekir Bozdağ, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk