Türkiye’s Treasury and Finance Ministry has intensified its efforts for Türkiye to be removed from the “gray list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
According to the sources talking to EKONOMİ daily, “out of 40 deficiencies identified by FATF, only 1 remains to be resolved.”
Following Turkey’s inclusion on the gray list in 2021, steps were accelerated as a result of the views in both economic and legal circles that Turkey should move away from this position. Following the progress made in 2022 and the technical “green light” given to Turkey in 2023, Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Simsek mobilized public opinion for full compliance before the FATF General Assembly in February 2024. In his statement in November, Simsek emphasized that Turkey only needed to make a regulation in the field of cryptocurrency to exit the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list. FATF’s next review period for Turkey is December 2025, and the conclusion and decision report is June 2026. In the last report published, it was emphasized that Turkey missed the review periods but “the steps taken were appreciated” and was given the green light.
According to the information obtained by EKONOMİ daily, although the possible regulation is described as “related to cryptocurrencies”, in reality, it includes regulations that facilitate the restriction of the financing movements of criminal organizations, especially money laundering and terrorist organizations, and the confiscation of the assets of those involved in such crimes. It was stated that the operations launched by Turkey against such structures, some of which are international criminal organizations, will contribute to this process.
Removal is not guaranteed
It was emphasized that even if Turkey makes these arrangements, its removal from the gray list at the FATF’s general assembly in February is not guaranteed. A statement in the same direction was made by the Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Simsek. On the other hand, Turkey has a technical assessment that was included in the FATF’s official report in 2023 that only one of the 40 violations remains. It is stated that even if Turkey cannot officially leave the list politically and in time by making this arrangement, the fact that Turkey has technically corrected all of the anomalies associated with the gray list, and that this is registered by the technical units of the FATF, will ease Turkey’s hand in terms of both economic and international law.
Getting out of the list is an important step
Nazmi Karyagdi, Head of E. Strategy Development at the Department of Revenue Administration and co-founder of Yeni Ekonomi Advisory, pointed to the positive mood in the latest FATF report: “On October 27, 2023, the FATF announced that Turkey had successfully met all but one of the 40 Recommendations in its Action Plan, despite having missed the deadlines. In this context, Turkey should continue to implement its action plan to address its only remaining strategic deficiency, in particular by seizing terrorist financing-related assets consistent with the risk of terrorist financing. At the FATF General Assembly in February 2024, it will be possible for Turkey to be removed from the gray list. This is an important step for Turkey to take its rightful place in the civilized world.”