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"Politicians from Turkey and the U.S. comment two countries relationship and current problems, foresight future relations... Presidents, Prime  Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parlement  all speak to TURKOFAMERICA, share their experiences and views with our readers. All exclusive interview from Ankara and Washington, D.C...  

 

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Reza Zarrab Details Money Laundering Scheme for Iran

By Brendan Pierson - NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Turkish-Iranian gold trader described in a U.S. court on Wednesday how he ran a sprawling international money laundering scheme aimed at helping Iran get around U.S. sanctions and spend its oil and gas revenues abroad. Reza Zarrab, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors in the criminal trial of a Turkish bank executive, told jurors in federal court in Manhattan that he helped Iran use funds deposited in Turkey's state-owned Halkbank to buy gold, which was smuggled to Dubai and sold for cash. The testimony, given through Turkish interpreters, came on the second day of the trial of Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has pleaded not guilty.

Reza Zarrab Will Not Go On Trial: US Judge

By Safvan Allahverdi - AA - WASHINGTON - The judge in the trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla announced late Monday that a jury of 12, including six alternates, had been selected. Earlier U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf would not face trial. Instead, Atilla, the deputy CEO of Turkey’s Halkbank, will be the only defendant, Berman told jurors in Manhattan. Berman added that opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning for a trial due to last three to four weeks.

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Turkey Urges US to Drop Case Against Gold Trader Reza Zarrab

A Turkish gold trader charged with conspiring to evade US sanctions against Iran will not go on trial in New York this week. Reza Zarrab dropped out of sight in the two months leading up to his scheduled trial. However, there is widespread speculation that Zarrab has flipped and is now cooperating with the prosecution. He was abruptly released from prison in early November and his whereabouts are publically unknown.

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US Contacts Turkey on Syria Peace, YPG

United States President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone on Nov. 24 only days after a Russia-Turkey-Iran summit on Syria, with Ankara saying that Washington has pledged not to send weapons to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) any more. “President Trump instructed [his generals] in a very open way that the YPG will no longer be given weapons. He openly said that this absurdity should have ended much earlier,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the phone call.

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Gulenist Group Signs Clients, Still in Conflict with Joel Rubin's Firm

The Washington Strategy Group, a lobbying firm started by supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania blamed by the Turkish government for instigating a failed coup last year, has started signing clients. The group registered to lobby on its own behalf last year on “Human rights violations and the protection of free expression in Turkey,” but until last week hadn’t signed any clients. The six clients all appear to be local Gulenist and Turkish-American organizations based in Columbus, Ohio; Des Plaines, Ill.; Houston; New York; St. Louis; and Sunnyvale, Calif. Washington Strategy Group also registered to lobby for each of them on “Global human rights violations, freedom of expressions, rule of law, recent refugee and immigration problems,” according to disclosure filings.

Turkish PM Denies Working With Former US Security Aide Featured

Binali Yildirim in CNN interview says Turkey in talks with US government for extradition of coup attempt's mastermind. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has denied Turkey's involvement in an alleged plan with former U.S security adviser Michael Flynn to kidnap U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, the leader of Fetullah Terrorist Organization behind last year's coup attempt. In part of an interview with popular television host Fareed Zakaria on CNN International posted on the network's website on Saturday evening, Yildirim said Turkey was expecting the White House to extradite Gulen. However, "we see that there is no any signal [through] which extradition will be in place," said Yildirim, speaking in English.

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US Turkish Embassy Slams Alleged Kidnapping Plot

Describing it as 'utterly false and ludicrous', Turkish Embassy in Washington denied allegations of kidnapping Gulen. The Turkish Embassy in Washington on Saturday denied allegations that Turkey would use unlawful ways of extraditing Fetullah Gulen, the U.S based-leader of the FETO terror group. "All allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law for Gulen's extradition are utterly false, ludicrous and groundless," according to a statement released by the embassy. Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Pence Voices U.S. Concern to Turkish Prime Minister About Arrests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence expressed “deep concern” to Turkey’s prime minister on Thursday about the arrests of American citizens and local staff of U.S. missions in Turkey, the White House said.  The matters raised by Pence are some of the issues that have created tension between the two NATO allies in recent months, along with a dispute over a Turkish cleric living in the United States whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup in Turkey last year.

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Readout of the Vice President's Meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

Today at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to reaffirm the enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey. The leaders expressed hope that their meeting would help to usher in a new chapter in U.S.-Turkey relations and agreed on the need for constructive dialogue, as friends and Allies, on bilateral challenges.

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