17:05 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, June 13, 2017

    Erdogan Accuses US of Attempts to Punish Turkey Over Ankara's Independence

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    Turkish President claims that was acting inside Turkey with the help of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement, saying that Washington is trying to punish and compromise Ankara.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the United States of trying to punish and compromise Ankara over its refusal to act the way Washington wants it to.

    "They [the United States] are trying to punish, condemn and compromise us because we do not stick to their scripts, which are obvious and are being carried out through their co-authors in our country," Erdogan said in a speech aired by the NTV broadcaster on Sunday.

    The president, speaking to activists of ruling Justice and Development Party in the east of the country, said that the United States was acting inside Turkey with the help of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement, referred to as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) by Ankara.

    Erdogan also accused Washington of backing the Kurdistan Workers' Party, considered a terrorist organization in Turkey.

    The president said that criminal cases against Turkish citizens in the United States were part of the general scenario aimed at splitting the Turkish society.

    "All of these attempts will end in failure," Erdogan said.

    The US authorities are currently investigating Reza Zarrab, a dual citizen of Turkey and Iran arrested in the United States in March 2016 on suspicion of violation of anti-Iranian sanction.

    Last week, media reported that Zarrab admitted his guilt in a US court and said that Erdogan personally approved his deals with Tehran in violation of sanctions. Zarrab said that he would testify against Hakan Atilla, a deputy CEO at Turkey's Halkbank, suspected of involvement in an international money laundering scheme benefiting Iran.

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    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States, Turkey
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