Turkey’s U.S. embassy hosts former ambassador accused of ties with ‘Neocon Cabal’

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The Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. hosted an Iftar dinner for several former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey, including Marc Grossman, who Turkey accused of being a member of the so-called “Neocon Cabal”.

Hasan Murat Mercan, Turkey’s new ambassador to Washington, D.C., has been trying to repair the damage the country’s ties with a variety of actors in the capital suffered under his predecessor.

The embassy tweeted photos from the dinner, saying former ambassadors Grossman, Robert Pearson and James Jeffrey had “always been good friends of Turkey”.

Grossman had been accused of having serious ties to a group that the Turkish government considers a terrorist organisation since the failed coup attempt in 2016.

A police report, prepared in what appears to be July 2016 and submitted to the District Court of the Southern District of New York last year by Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank, carried the main accusation against Grossman.

This photo, in the police interrogation document submitted the South District of New York, showing fmr Ambassador Marc Grossman along with a number of Turkish individuals accused of tied to the Gulen Movement. 

It accused Grossman of being connected to the Gülen movement, followers of Pennsylvania-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen who were designated a terror group following the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

According to the report on the interrogation of another suspect, Grossman was a member of the so-called “Neocon Cabal,” a name used in Turkey to depict the American deep state.

Grossman helped Gülen obtain permanent residency in the United States, and supported the former ally to the Turkish president at a time when the preacher faced deportation back to Turkey in 2008, said the documents submitted to the court to petition a dismissal of charges against Halkbank.

Marc Grossman, as a career diplomat, served in Turkey between 1995 and 1997. He was then appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian affairs during George W. Bush’s first term. Grossman became number-three at the State Department as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and served until 2005. He was also the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2011 and 2012.

In one of the largest sanctions busting schemes to date in the United States, Halkbank stands accused of money laundering, bank fraud and conspiracy for allegedly allowing the trade of Iranian oil in exchange for gold, helping Tehran evade U.S. measures imposed over its nuclear program.

Many of the indictments prepared in Turkey against government critics mention similar conspiracy theories and outlandish accusations, which put them behind bars for years following what international human rights organisations have called “sham trials” to silence the opposition.

A number of other current and former U.S. government officials have also been accused of taking part in some form of of conspiracy against Turkish government.

White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, former CENTCOM leader Joseph Votel, and several members of the U.S. Congress as well as the judiciary are all cited in various indictments for their involvement with the Halkbank trial, and for allegedly coordinating with the Gülen movement or Kurdish insurgents. The accusations have made up for a lack of supporting evidence with more outlandish theories.

Ahval

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