Turkey failing to stop terror financeOctober 28, 2012
The Financial Action Task Force has threatened to suspend Turkey if it doesn’t fix its laws on terror financing within the next four months. The financial and money laundering watchdog organization says that Turkey doesn’t yet have a legal means for freezing terrorist assets. How can Turkey be a good NATO ally if it can’t even identify and freeze the assets of terrorists in their banking system?
Turkey probably should have been suspended long ago for its sponsorship of IHH, the radical charity that manned the Gaza flotilla and has since been designated by Germany as a donor of Hamas, but FATF is more focused on financial regulatory frameworks.
Turkey Given Four Months to Fix Terror Finance Law
By Selcan Hacaoglu
Turkey was given a February deadline by the OECD’s Financial Action Task Force to tighten laws blocking the financing of terrorist groups or face suspension from the organization.
Turkey needs to adopt legislation “to remedy deficiencies in its terrorist financing offense” and set up “a legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets,” the Task Force, sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said on its website today at the end of a three-day meeting in Paris.
Failure to do so by Feb. 22 will result in Turkey’s suspension, it said. The Task Force said it is “deeply concerned by Turkey’s continued failure to take action.”
The group had warned in June it would “call upon its members to apply countermeasures” against Turkey if rules weren’t tightened by October. A terror financing bill drafted to address them is still held up in Turkey’s parliament. Exclusion by the Task Force could impede transactions with Western banks.
A suspension would hurt Turkey’s reputation and “alert the international financial world, possibly causing some problems in transactions,” Nihat Ali Ozcan, a terrorism analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara, said by telephone today. “However, since nearly half of the Turkish economy is not registered, tightening rules might also put the government under domestic pressure from some circles, even including its grassroots supporters.”
Turkish officials say the measure has been delayed by a busy legislative schedule…