August 26, 2014

Bank Asya files 286 lawsuits against ‘smear campaign'

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya has filed 286 separate lawsuits against what it called a "smear campaign" and "fake news reports" that have recently targeted it, the bank said on Tuesday.

Bank Asya also said it had filed 93 lawsuits requesting corrections of a variety of news stories in separate Turkish dailies. The lawsuits -- a record number filed by a Turkish bank against the media -- allege that this chronic and malicious misinformation is part of a widespread smear campaign, observers familiar with the issue said on Tuesday. Bank Asya stated that the company is determined to take further legal action against "fake news" targeting the bank in the future, stressing that the news pieces threatened the credibility of the Turkish banking sector as a whole.

Pro-government media have been broadcasting and publishing a constant stream of stories attacking the Hizmet movement and institutions allegedly affiliated with it since the corruption scandal events of Dec. 17 and 25.

Bank Asya, a majority of whose shares are publicly traded on the Bourse İstanbul (BİST), is one of those companies which pro-government media aim to discredit via smear campaigns. Though it is legally forbidden to comment on the shares of publicly owned companies and especially banks, which carry great responsibility for maintaining the stability of a country, regulatory institutions such as the Capital Markets Board (SPK) and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) have remained silent on the matter.

Published on Today's Zaman, 26 August 2014, Tuesday

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