The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has taken over management control of some of the privileged shares of Bank Asya as part of a government-operated crackdown on institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, and shareholders will be filing a lawsuit against the action, but this week’s guest for Monday Talk has said it is likely that the case will end up at the European Court of Human Rights and even at the International Criminal Court.
Journalists in Turkey are being charged with “being involved in terrorist activities” and “endangering state security” to justify the current crackdown on the media, as this is the only legitimate way for Turkish leadership to silence and censor dissident voices while shielding themselves from being seen as infringers on the freedom of speech and expression, unambiguously protected under international law.
Economic indicators in Turkey cannot bear the political risk anymore. The currency rates go up whenever President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes a statement. Before the elections I had warned that Erdoğan’s election victory would bring instability, but nobody believed this. There are now three major fields of conflict and uncertainty before Turkey.
Hidayet Karaca, an executive with a leading Turkish TV network, has been in prison since 14 December last year on charges of leading a terrorist group. Karaca, general manager of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, was arrested along with more than two dozen senior journalists and media executives. Most were soon released.
The leader of the main opposition party has implied that the recent arrest of Hidayet Karaca, the general manager of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group (STV), on charges of heading a terrorist organization does not make sense as there is no solid evidence against the suspect.
In September 2014, in an address to the Turkish Industry and Business Association, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the following statement: “No effort is underway to cause the bankruptcy of a bank. That bank is already bankrupt. They are carrying water by hand to keep it afloat.”
“The raid on Bank Asya is a violation of the right of proprietorship and a murders the entrepreneurial spirit,” noted the president of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON), Rızanur Meral, in an interview with Bugün TV.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has presented a distorted interpretation of an op-ed written by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen that was published in The New York Times, claiming the op-ed is about the takeover of the board of Islamic lender Bank Asya by Turkey’s banking watchdog.
Bank Asya has become a battleground in the feud between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and self-exiled, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a preacher whom Erdogan blames for instigating a coup attempt against him and whose followers founded the lender. Supporters of each have sought, by turn, to strengthen and weaken the bank.
Erdoğan’s unceasing bid to bury the bank is largely driven by his declared witch-hunt against institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement. In the latest twist to a saga, a banking watchdog ordered the state insurance fund to take over the management of the bank.