Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says the US has informed Ankara about the Turkish businessman's condition who has been detained since March 2016.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag answers questions about Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab who has been detained in the US since March 2016 on fraud and Iran sanctions-related charges.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag answers questions about Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab who has been detained in the US since March 2016 on fraud and Iran sanctions-related charges. (AA)

The US has told Turkey the health condition of jailed Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab is “good,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

Zarrab has been in jail in the US pending trial. He was detained in March 2016 on fraud and Iran sanctions-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Talking to reporters in Istanbul, Bozdag said the US authorities informed Turkish Foreign Ministry that the “health of Zarrab is in good condition.”

According to some reports in Turkish media, Zarrab's lawyers had not heard from their client in several days.

Turkey sent a diplomatic note to the US asking it to clarify Zarrab’s condition following the media reports.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that Ankara has sent a diplomatic note to US State Department about Zarrab’s safety and well-being due to the reports.

But the department failed to provide any information, then Turkey issued the second one, said Cavusoglu.

"Following news dominating the media regarding Zarrab, our Washington Embassy has officially requested that the US government clear up the situation," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

The US Federal Bureau of Prisons website showed that Zarrab had been released last week, but a US spokesman said on Monday that he remained in federal custody.

Explaining the issue of Zarrab's being showed as released, Cavusoglu said that, "Americans told us that 'He's being held at a different place. His health is good and he is safe.'"

The former Deputy General Manager of Halkbank Mehmet Hakan Atilla is also detained in the US awaiting trial on the same charges as Zarrab.

Cavusoglu said that he does not believe that he had violated US sanctions on Iran. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies