Erdogan: Turkey can not be tried by 'virtual courts' in US

Erdogan helped Iran evade US sanctions, Zarrab claims

Zarrab, a Turkish and Iranian national, has pleaded guilty to charges that he schemed to help Iran evade US sanctions, and is testifying for USA prosecutors against an executive from a Turkish state-owned bank for related charges.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling the NY trial of a Turkish banker a USA conspiracy being staged to "blackmail" and "blemish" his country.

Halkbank has said all of its transactions complied with national and global regulations.

Victor Rocco, a lawyer for Atilla, told jurors in his opening statement last week that Atilla did not take part in any scheme.

Zarrab has now plead guilty and testifies as a witness in the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, deputy CEO of state-owned Halkbank.

"This may support the defense's, thus Mehmet Hakan Atilla's, arguments; which helps support Halkbank's shares", Duygun Kutucu, an analyst at Oyak Securities in Istanbul, said by email.

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The state-run news agency reported Tuesday that Turkish prosecutors have detained 17 associates of Reza Zarrab. In a letter to the judge Monday, they revealed that a summary of phone calls Zarrab made from jail quote him as suggesting he would lie to get a cooperation agreement.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment.

Turkey is tightening the screws on a gold trader who cut a deal with USA prosecutors in a case over violations of American sanctions against Iran.

Erdogan said: "Turkey has no plans against the United States, but it is clear that the USA has plans against us".

Zarrab's testimony has implicated top Turkish politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has claimed that his political opponents are behind both the US case and the Turkish case that led to Zarrab's 2013 arrest.

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