February 6, 2015

US urges Turkey to follow international legal standards in Bank Asya case

The US Department of State deputy spokesperson, Marie Harf, said that the US expects the Turkish government to follow international legal standards in Bank Asya case.

In a question addressed to Harf in a daily press briefing on Thursday, asking whether she was updated about the seizure of Bank Asya by the Turkish government, Harf said “We look to governments, including Turkey, to ensure that monitoring of corporate and financial activity is done in accordance with international legal standards.”

On Tuesday, the Turkish banking watchdog Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) handed management control of 63 percent of the privileged shares of Turkey's Bank Asya over to state savings funds, citing insufficient transparency to allow for proper regulation. Bank Asya management and shareholders, however, denied the existence of transparency flaws and said the decision was a government-orchestrated bid to sink the lender.

Also answering a question about the 90 congressmen and congresswomen who recently sent a letter to Secretary Kerry about Turkey, and the freedom of press in Turkey, Harf expressed that US certainly publicly expressed concerns about the space for freedom of the press in Turkey at times over many, many months.

“I think I’ve been fairly clear from this podium that we don’t think that the space should be limited for journalists, that there should be space for them to do their jobs, and that’s what a free and open society does. So I think we’ve been pretty clear about that,” she added.

Published on BGNNews, 06 February 2015, Friday