The Turkish Democracy Project commends the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s decision to once again include Turkey on its “gray list” of countries subject to increased monitoring due to insufficient efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.
Turkey was first placed on the “gray list” in November 2021 due to concerns about systemic sanctions evasion, money laundering and financing of terrorism. One year later, FATF has concluded that there remain “serious” deficiencies in Turkey’s anti-money laundering policies, its supervision of high-risk sectors including banks, gold and precious stones dealers, and its treatment of non-profit organizations. The Task Force has urged Turkey to increase its prosecution of terrorism financing and prioritize cases against UN-designated terrorist organizations such as ISIL and Al-Qaeda.
FATF’s 2022 gray list, released October 21st, demonstrates that Erdogan’s regime has not progressed in addressing these deficiencies. The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) shares FATF’s concerns and has reported that corruption under Erdogan has only worsened since the onset of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Despite attempting to paint himself as a neutral mediator between Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan has engaged in extensive cooperation with Putin’s regime. Erdogan has consistently refused to join fellow NATO allies in sanctioning the Russian state or associated oligarchs, companies, and banks. Recently, reports emerged that Ankara was poised to purchase a second round of Russia’s S-400 missile system.
TDP has detailed the depth of collusion between Russian and Turkish oligarchs here and has elaborated on Erdogan’s role in building a Turkish oligarchy that further entrenches Putin.
Commenting on the necessity to keep Erdogan’s Turkey on the FATF gray list, Madeleine Joelson, executive director of the Turkish Democracy Project said:
“Since Turkey’s initial placement on the gray list, Erdogan’s government has continued to sponsor extremism at the expense of its people as well as international stability. By refusing to enforce sanctions against Russian oligarchs in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Turkey has become a safe haven for Russian assets. TDP applauds FATF’s continued spotlight on the Erdogan regime’s deficiencies and urges global leaders to increase pressure on Erdogan to end corruption, money laundering, and terrorist abetting in his government.”