Germany, Turkey sign anti-terrorism pact

Germany, Turkey sign anti-terrorism pact

Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigative Board (MASAK), working under the Finance Ministry, and its counterpart in Germany signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, aimed at enhancing intelligence sharing between the two countries.

The MoU was designed particularly to target money laundering activity and financial resources for terrorism. The document was signed by officials from MASAK and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) working under the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office), and is in compliance with the Egmont Group standards. 

The Egmont Group is a network of finance intelligence units (FIUs), the goal of which is to provide a forum for FIUs around the world to improve cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terror financing and to foster the implementation of domestic programs in this field.

According to Germany’s Money Laundering Act, FIU Germany is authorized to share personal data within the international context. On the Turkish side, it was necessary first to sign the MoU to allow for such sharing. The signing of the MoU between the two institutions was first proposed by MASAK back in October 2010, a statement released by the German Embassy in Ankara said. In order to facilitate bilateral negotiations for the signing of the MoU, the Egmont Group drafted a sample text which eventually became the main basis for the document.

MoUs of this kind are generally signed at the twice yearly Egmont meetings, but the two sides agreed not to wait for the next meeting, scheduled for July 2013, preferring to sign it soon after the text had been agreed, the Embassy explained. In early February, during a visit to the Turkish capital by German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, the two countries agreed to intensify efforts to reach a better mutual understanding in handling the terror problem and to overcome gaps in information. At the time, the Turkish side repeatedly emphasized that German law enforcement against suspected terrorists was not proceeding forcefully enough.

Turkey informed Germany last December of its suspicions about a possible attack by Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members, who had been staying in Germany until a few months before the Feb. 1 bombing of the United States Embassy in Ankara, which killed a Turkish security guard and seriously injured three other individuals.
Ankara has long complained of the apparent indifference of the European Union with regard to activities of the PKK, although the organization is recognized by the EU as a terrorist organization as well as by Turkey and the U.S. 

Last month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Germany and other European states of not providing the necessary support in the fight against terrorism. Erdoğan particularly highlighted the DHKP-C attack and the fact that the assailant in the case of the murder of three Kurdish women on Jan. 9 in Paris had arrived in the city from Germany.