Top Turkish official denounces Bolton memoir

A copy of “The Room Where It Happened,” by former national security adviser John Bolton, is photographed at the White House, Thursday, June 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A top Turkish official has denounced a memoir by former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, saying it contains ” misleading, one-sided and manipulative” accounts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conversations with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump.

In a series of tweets, Turkish presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said the book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” was driven by political considerations and personal gain.

“We find it reprehensible that former high-level officials attempt to use serious diplomatic conversations and efforts to resolve outstanding issues between allies like the U.S. and Turkey for their domestic political agendas,” Altun said.

Bolton claimed in the memoir that Trump sought to interfere in an investigation into Turkish state-owned bank, Halkbank, in an effort to cut deals with Erdogan.

Halkbank was charged with evading U.S. sanctions against Iran by processing billions of dollars of Iranian oil revenue. An indictment said the bank illegally moved about $20 billion in Iranian oil and gas revenues, sometimes disguising money movements as purchases of food and medicine.

Altun said Erdogan “clearly outlines Turkey’s priorities and advocates for them vigorously” including the Halkbank issue.

Altun tweeted: “We are confident that the US-Turkey relationship will survive such efforts and even thrive at the end. President Erdogan will continue his frank, honest, and straightforward conversations with the U.S. President Donald Trump.”

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