It is not my routine to publish letters in my column. But you have/read a letter in your hand now. You are reading it as it is except some slight changes. There are two reasons for quoting it. First, it is from an ex-employee of Halkbank who knows well how the bank works. Second, it is a unique morality for a person to defend his/her ex-company. If an incumbent worker had written below letter, it would not worth taking it into account.
Since it looks like an evaluation made by an objective expert, it would be beneficial to add it to the file of Zarrab case. Here is the letter;
As an ex-employee of Halkbank, I want to present a brief of Halkbank’s transactions in regard to Zarrab case.
- Halkbank has never transferred money to Iran.
- Halkbank never received money transfer from Iran
- Halkbank has mediated legal trading of food, medicine and similar goods that are not banned by United Nations resolutions, and the bank did it in full compliance with them.
- Payments of Botaş and Tüpraş for oil and natural gas bought from Iran were deposited into the TL account of Iran at Halkbank.
Exporters of food and similar goods from Turkey to Iran got their payments in TL or EUR, in respect of the customs declaration that the goods were exported to Iran, from Iran’s Halkbank account with order from Iranian authorities.
- US dollar was never used in these transactions.
- In order to be found guilty, payments should made by USD or made to companies that are on the OFAC prohibited companies list. Such transactions never took place. No paid companies, including those of Reza Zarrab, are in OFAC list.
- Halk Bank’s corporate identity can never be punished; if a penalty is imposed, it will be cancelled by international law.
- Reza Zarrab, convinced in some way, was taken to America as well as before 15 July. If the coup attempt of July 15 had been successful, today Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would be tried instead of him.
- 90% of people who comment on TVs talk as if Halkbank is guilty and they base their arguments on rumors. Thus, they must pay attention to this letter.
- The process management in Turkey is done quite wrong. Turkey is carrying water to the rudder of the enemy, FETO (Fetullahist Terrorist Organization).
- I saw only one person outside the incident who said “Halk Bank was not guilty” . This guy is the General Manager of Vakıfbank, Mr. Mehmet Emin Özcan. He deserves to be thanked for his honesty.
- The fact that the US treasury does not need a court ruling when it comes to punishment should not be ignored. It did not seek for a court decision to fine British and German banks with billions of dollars for their Iran and Yemen transactions.
Why has not US treasury fined Halkbank till now? Because the main purpose is different; this case is not legal but political. Turkey is tried to be squeezed into a corner with masked political decisions.
Those who could not get President Erdogan sat on defendant chair in July 15 are satisfying themselves with so-called Zarrab case theater.
Everyone must defend Halkbank.
*This article was first published in Türkiye newspaper in 4 December 2017 and translated by Straturka.