Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday businessmen who attempted to move assets abroad were ‘traitors’, and called on his cabinet to block any such moves.
‘I am seeing signals, news that some businessmen are trying to move their assets abroad, and I call on firstly my cabinet from here to never allow this exit for any of them because these people are traitors,’ Erdogan said.
Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party in the eastern province of Mus, Erdogan did not say to whom he was referring, nor did he single out a single business, person or country of destination.
His comments come after the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday that Turkish prosecutors were set to seize the assets of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with US prosecutors in the trial of a Turkish bank executive charged with evading US sanctions on Iran, and his acquaintances.
The trial has caused already strained ties between NATO allies Ankara and Washington to deteriorate further as Zarrab detailed in court a scheme to evade the US sanctions, saying that Erdogan personally authorized two Turkish banks to join the scheme when prime minister.
Ankara has cast the testimony as an attempt to undermine Turkey and its economy, and has previously said it was a ‘clear plot’ by the network of US-based Fethullah Gulen, who it alleges engineered last year's coup attempt.
‘We cannot take kindly to those who earn in this country and then try to take those earnings abroad,’ Erdogan said.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
10 dead as military hit on Palestinian group chief sparks rocket barrage
Iraqi demonstrators rally as UN steps up mediation efforts
Lebanese banks, schools shut as protesters push on
Bombings kill at least six civilians in Qamishli
Top Iraqi cleric casts doubt on reforms offered to defuse unrest
Deported IS fighter stranded between Turkey, Greece border
Palestinian killed in clashes on anniversary of Arafat's death
Bombings kill 6 civilians in main Kurdish city in Syria
White House urges Iraq to hold early elections