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ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey said on Monday its former economy minister, indicted in the United States for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran, acted within international law and that charges against him amounted to a coup attempt through American courts.
Former minister Zafer Caglayan “has protected Turkey’s interests as Turkish economy minister, and has acted within the laws of our country and international laws while doing that,” government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said.
The charges against Caglayan were “a repetition of the December FETO coup attempt … through the American judiciary”, Bozdag said, referring to 2013 leaks about alleged government corruption which were blamed on President Tayyip Erdogan’s opponents.
Caglayan and the ex-head of a state-owned Turkish bank were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on Tehran’s behalf.