Turkish State Takeover of Bank Asya

nnnTurkish authorities announced they had taken control of the country’s 10th largest lender, Bank Aysa, which is linked to an ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

In a statement, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency said it had handed over the reins of the bank to the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) eight days before legislative elections on June 7.

Justifying its move, the watchdog said “problems” in the bank’s activities through its “financial structure, partners and the composition of its board of directors constituted a danger… to the confidence and stability of the financial system”.

The Turkish government initiated the move against the Islamic lender, founded by Gulen’s followers in 1996, in February.

At the time, the TMSF took 63 percent of Bank Asya shortly after the BDDK ruled in favour of its seizure, and sacked the entire existing management team, citing a lack of transparency. A new board of directors was appointed.

The management called the decision “illegal”, while the opposition denounced the swoop as a scandal.

Erdogan has accused Gulen and his supporters of setting up a “parallel state” to concoct the graft scandal and spread leaks in social media to topple his government.