The assets of former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykan Erdemir were seized by the authorities in Turkey on Dec. 6.
The move comes after an arrest warrant was recently issued for Erdemir on the grounds that he provided “fake reports” as evidence against Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab in an ongoing legal case in New York.
A photo taken on Dec. 4, 2013 during a meeting of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdemir and accompanying CHP MPs with representatives of the Turkic American Assembly (TAA), linked to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, was also included in the investigation file.
The file noted that this meeting in the United States, 13 days before the revelation of the December 2013 corruption probes targeting senior government officials, was “not accidental.”
CHP lawmakers Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Faruk Loğoğlu, Engin Altay and Faik Öztırak are also seen in the photograph.
Rumi Forum President Emre Çelik, Turkish American Association Council head Mahmut Yeter, Furkan Koşar and Kemal Öksüz, the brother of Adil Öksüz, one of the alleged leaders of Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt, are also in the photograph with the CHP members.
Commenting on the charges on his Twitter account, Erdemir stated on Dec. 6 that the charges are “false” and “political in nature.”
“Needless to say, the Turkish charges against me are false and defamatory and are entirely political in nature. The Turkish government has a regrettable history of harassing and intimidating critics and experts. This ludicrous accusation is just the latest example,” he said.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Nov. 28 issued an arrest warrant for Erdemir, stating that he was being investigated over whether he “destroyed paperwork relating to state security” and stole documents with the intention of using them abroad along with certified public auditor Osman Zeki Canıtez.
The prosecutor’s office stated that Erdemir and Canıtez submitted “so-called files” dated Jan. 28, 2014 from the probe to the New York County District Attorney’s Office as evidence.