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ISTANBUL, March 31 Turkish state-run lender
Halkbank's operations and transactions fully comply with
national and international regulations, it said in a statement
regarding the arrest of its deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan
Atilla in the United States.
Atilla was charged on Tuesday with participating in a
multi-year scheme to violate sanctions against Iran and
conspiring with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is
already on trial in a case which has caused tensions between
Turkey and the United States.
In a statement released to the Istanbul stock exchange late
on Thursday, Halkbank said there was news in some
media organs in recent days discrediting the bank and misleading
the public and investors regarding his arrest.
"Our Bank's operations and transactions fully comply with
national and international regulations all the time. Our Bank
takes all measures to protect its shareholders, business
partners and depositors' rights," the statement said.
Turkey's foreign and justice ministers on Thursday described
the arrest of Atilla as a "political" move. President Tayyip
Erdogan has said he believed U.S. authorities had "ulterior
motives" in prosecuting Zarrab, who was arrested in March 2016
Shares of Halkbank, Turkey's fifth-largest listed bank by
assets, endured their biggest one-day fall on Wednesday, falling
14 percent after news of the arrest emerged.
Atilla is accused of conspiring with Zarrab to conduct
hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal transactions through
U.S. banks on behalf of Iran's government and other entities in
"Our Bank has not intermediated any transaction in which any
prohibited party or person or goods or services have been
involved," Halkbank said in the statement, which was also
published on the back page of Turkish newspapers on Friday.
It said the U.S. financial system and currency have not been
used for such transactions related to trade with the country
mentioned in the allegations.
(Writing by Daren Butler)