Trump, Erdogan & Halkbank—John Bolton memoir throws focus back on curious events

Trump, Erdogan & Halkbank—John Bolton memoir throws focus back on curious events
Populists in cahoots? Trump with Erdogan.
By bne IntelIiNews June 18, 2020

Pre-publication leaks of a new memoir, The Room Where It Happened, by US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, have already put the book top of the US book charts.

In his damning indictment, Bolton argues that the House impeachment inquiry into Trump should not have been limited to the Ukraine affair, but should also have looked into, among other things, the president’s intervention with New York prosecutors’ investigations into Turkey’s Halkbank to curry favour with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One incident reportedly described was a 2018 discussion with the Turkish president. Bolton says Erdogan gave Trump a memo claiming that a Turkish firm under investigation in the US was innocent. “Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the southern district [of New York] prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people.”

bne Intellinews is one of a handful of publications that in the past year have argued that controversial aspects of the Trump/Erdogan relationship, such as the Halkbank affair, have been lost in the noise—they have not had the focus from US and global media they deserve because of the sheer amount of scandal surrounding the Trump administration. Nevertheless, this media outlet has run numerous pieces on the Halkbank issue in particular in the past couple of years. Links to a selection of articles that are free to access on our website are listed below. Other items are available on our subscriber-only IntelliNews Pro service.​

John Bolton.

US attorney general ‘at Trump’s request made effort to help Turkey’s Halkbank sidestep indictment’
Turkish president Erdogan who has been implicated in the sanctions-busting affair in which lender is embroiled said to have pushed for White House action.
February 17, 2020.

Senator probes whether Trump has intervened to assist Turkey’s Halkbank
Move comes after US appeals court agrees to pause case alleging state lender evaded American sanctions on Iran.
February 4, 2020

HALKBANK AFFAIR: US judge orders Turkey’s “fugitive” state lender to attend Iran sanctions evasion hearing (with chronology of events)
Timeline of events so far centred on bank shows this is a case that could run and run. Roles of Trump and Erdogan in addressing affair under scrutiny.
October 24, 2019

Trump Towers Istanbul partner ‘lobbied White House for vast expansion of US-Turkey trade’
News service uses documents deposited by PR firm to reveal Mehmet Ali Yalcindag’s activities. Now head of Turkey-US Business Council, the businessman, once called a “close friend” by Donald Trump, is pushing to build up agriculture and LNG shipments.
May 29, 2020

Blow for Turkey’s Halkbank as US federal court rejects appeal move on Iran sanctions evasion indictment
Petition for a stay in the criminal proceeding refused. Prosecutors maintain lender is "fugitive".
February 23, 2020

Turkey’s Halkbank exposed to US court fine of $1.8bn within two weeks if prosecutor’s request accepted
State lender faces contempt of court move after obstinately refusing to appear in New York courthouse to answer Iran sanctions-busting charges.
January 22, 2020

New York judge tells Turkey’s Halkbank to turn up and enter plea in Iran sanctions busting case
Move must be made before state lender can challenge US court’s ability to hold trial, he adds.
December 5, 2019

Halkbank shares head south in Istanbul after Erdogan’s White House meeting produces little
State bank embroiled in Iran sanctions-busting case. Mention of Turkish strongman in indictment and Trump Tower Istanbul under renewed scrutiny. No progress on ‘S-400’ row. Senators not thrilled at Oval Office showing of anti-Kurdish propaganda film.
November 14, 2019

TURKEY INSIGHT: Erdogan’s upcoming White House photocall whetting appetite of equity hit-and-runners
Beware, says analyst, “When a country's ruler resembles King Lear out on a moor in the storm, any calm is temporary and deceptive”.
November 6, 2019

Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund ‘wants to buy EBRD’s Borsa Istanbul stake', Halkbank and Syria sanctions rows continue
Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund (TVF) wants to buy the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD’s) 10% stake in the Istanbul stock exchange, broadcaster CNN Turk reported TVF.
October 31, 2019

TURKEY INSIGHT: Loan renewals for banks progress undeterred amid sanctions ‘noise’ and EBRD’s bourse exit
Development bank’s reported plan to make ‘protest sale’ of stock exchange stake hints that mounting difficulties are eating away at Erdogan’s regime but strongman is yet to face meaningful penalties from US or EU.
October 30, 2019

TURKEY INSIGHT: Halkbank, busy dodging a US court, gets a rating watch negative from Fitch following Moody’s move
Indictment restarts popular soap opera. Prosecutors think Erdogan has some explaining to do. New York judge says of convicted Atilla announced as new Istanbul stock exchange boss: “I suppose that’s one way of integrating back into society”.
October 23, 2019

Turkey’s Halkbank now seen as “fugitive” by New York prosecutors
State bank fails to send lawyer to initial court hearing on conspiracy to evade Iran sanctions.
October 23, 2019

EBRD opposes naming of Halkbank executive convicted in US as Istanbul stock exchange boss
“We were not consulted and we do not support it,” says spokesman for development bank that owns 10% of Borsa Istanbul. Appointment widely seen as political rebuttal to New York indictment brought against state lender.
October 22, 2019

Halkbank indictment ‘huge matter for Turkey’s Erdogan as alleges wrongdoing right to top of administration’~
The bringing of a US criminal case against Turkish state lender Turkiye Halk Bankasi (Halkbank) for participating in an Iran sanctions-busting conspiracy is a huge matter for Turkey’s President Erdogan…
October 17, 2019

Turkish banker Atilla convicted in Iran sanctions-busting case
Manhattan federal court jury finds Halkbank deputy CEO guilty on five of six counts in trial that implicated President Erdogan as having been aware of a complex money laundering network.
January 4, 2018

Erdogan was top target of Iran sanctions busting probe fled Turkish policeman testifies
Ongoing New York trial hears from Huseyin Korkmaz who fled to US with cache of evidence gathered by original Turkish investigation into Reza Zarrab’s money laundering scheme.
December 12, 2017