February 5, 2015

Twitter whistleblower says Bank Asya operation legally flawed

The appointment of executives from the state savings fund to Islamic lender Bank Asya is unlawful because it is based on a legal article that does not actually sanction such a drastic measure, according to a whistleblower known for making accurate predictions of government steps via a Twitter account.

Fuat Avni, the anonymous whistleblower's pseudonym on Twitter, said that Article No. 18 of the Banking Law, which Tuesday night's Bank Asya operation was based on, does not allow for authorities to change the management of a bank. Such a measure is possible only under Article No. 71, which deals with problems in the financial situation of a bank.

“Article No. 18 does not grant the authority to replace management,” wrote Fuat Avni.

The Turkish banking watchdog on Tuesday handed the management control of 63 percent of the privileged shares of Turkey's Bank Asya over to the state savings fund, citing insufficient transparency to allow for proper regulation.

According to a series of tweets posted by the whistleblower, the failure to hand over documents regarding the holders of that 63 percent of the bank's privileged shares to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) banking watchdog is punishable in the form of a TL 5,000-10,000 fine.

Fuat Avni wrote that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has attacked Bank Asya several times in the past year as part of his war on the Gülen movement, is furious since it was discovered that the seizure of the bank's management was based on the wrong article.

According to Fuat Avni, Erdoğan believes the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) made the mistake intentionally as part of a conspiracy by bureaucrats from the “parallel structure,” a term used by Erdoğan to refer to the Gülen movement.

“Steps taken by [Erdoğan] loyalists within the TMSF and the BDDK ended up haunting them in an unexpected turn of events,” read one of the tweets. “Bureaucrats of both institutions will soon be wiped out for being parallel [structure] members and left alone [when they appear] before justice [a court].”

Published on Today's Zaman, 05 February 2015, Thursday