Turkish President Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would not succumb to “blackmail” by the United States in the trial of a Turkish bank executive being charged with evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Already strained ties between NATO allies Ankara and Washington have deteriorated as Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors, detailed in court a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions.
Erdogan said Turkey’s dealings were in line with the decisions of the United Nations, adding that they were not against Ankara’s alliance with Washington.
“What have we done, for example? We bought natural gas from a country we have an agreement with so our citizens wouldn’t be cold in the winter. Like other countries, only the UN’s decisions bind us, and Turkey followed them to the dot,” he told members of his ruling AK Party in the eastern province of Mus.
Washington elites have been maneuvering for some time to oust President Erdogan in favor of a more Islamic-friendly leader.