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Turkish finance chief’s game-changing plan to remove Türkiye from grey list

Turkish finance chief's game-changing plan to remove Türkiye from grey list
By Selin Hacialioglu
May 20, 2024 12:53 PM

Minister of Treasury and Finance expresses strong determination to remove Türkiye from the FATF grey list by intensifying efforts against money laundering and terrorism

Türkiye’s Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Simsek expressed a firm commitment to removing the country from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.

During a live broadcast on TRT Haber, Simsek stated: “We are very determined on this matter. We will do whatever is necessary. We are committed to combating money laundering and terrorism. We will exit the list as soon as possible.”

Simsek explained the ongoing efforts to strengthen the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) with advanced technology and skilled personnel to bolster Türkiye’s stance against financial crimes. “We are already affected by terrorism. We are very determined in this matter,” he emphasized.

In February, a FATF delegation reviewed Türkiye’s action plan, acknowledging significant progress. Simsek mentioned a subsequent visit in May, where he engaged with the delegation, reinforcing Türkiye’s resolve to meet FATF’s standards. “

We prepared an action plan. In February, they said Türkiye had successfully implemented it. A delegation came in May, and I met with them,” he explained.

The FATF placed Türkiye on the grey list in October 2021, citing inadequate supervision of sectors vulnerable to money laundering and financing of groups under U.N. sanctions. The grey list includes countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regimes but committed to addressing them.

Simsek expressed hope for a favorable outcome at the FATF general assembly on June 28, where Türkiye’s status will be re-evaluated. “We must ensure political factors do not interfere. Our stance leaves no room for doubt. Türkiye should exit the grey list,” he stated.

The FATF, established by the OECD in 1989, aims to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of weapons of mass destruction. Over 200 countries adhere to FATF’s recommendations. Türkiye, a member since 1991, created MASAK in 1997 to collect and analyze data related to financial crimes.

Currently, 23 countries, including Türkiye, are on the grey list. This includes nations like Albania, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. Simsek’s assurances are part of broader efforts to enhance Türkiye’s financial integrity and regain international confidence.

“We are committed to fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” Simsek reiterated.

He emphasized the urgency of exiting the grey list to restore confidence among global investors and improve Türkiye’s economic standing.

Source: Newsroom

Last Updated:  Jun 28, 2024 2:04 PM