Thursday, 24 January 2013 – JTW – ANKARA — Turkish parliament’s justice committee debated a bill that would introduce tighter measures against the financing of terrorism. Turkey risks effective suspension of its membership inOECD-sponsored Financial Action Task Force (FATF) if it fails to adopt enhanced countermeasures on financing of terrorist groups until February 22.
Compliance with the FATF regulations obliges Turkey to freeze suspected bank accounts without seeking a clearance from judicial authorities as well as stricter monitoring of money transactions. Turkey argues that certain European countries condone financial activities to raise money for the terrorist PKK organization, which is also listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States. Speaking at the committee debate, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said the bill was part of an obligation Turkey had promised to uphold internationally.
” Turkey does not live alone in the world. There are agreements on which we have our signatures. AndTurkey is a country that actively fights terrorism,” Ergin said. Ergin said failure to adopt the bill would putTurkey on “a blacklist,” where countries are perceived to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. “There are two countries currently on list: Iran and North Korea,” he said. The committee approved three articles of the bill and it is set to reconvene on Friday.