No probe into Turkish banks over Iran sanctions: Şimşek

No probe into Turkish banks over Iran sanctions: Şimşek

No probe into Turkish banks over Iran sanctions: Şimşek

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has refuted previous claims about U.S. probes into a number of Turkey’s lenders over alleged violations of Iran sanctions, adding that some questions had been only regarding one bank. 

Speaking on the second day of the Turkish Capital Markets Congress in Istanbul on Nov. 15, Şimşek also signaled that works would commence for a highly comprehensive reform package by early 2018.

“There are no probes into any Turkish lender. A number of questions have been raised about only one Turkish bank right now. Other than this, there is no process regarding the Turkish banking system. Unfortunately, such bad speculations against Turkey do not work but they do affect the Turkish Lira,” he said.

A Turkish newspaper in October claimed that six banks potentially face substantial fines, citing senior banking sources, over alleged violations of Iran sanctions. It did not name the banks.

On the same day, Turkey’s banking regulator refuted the report and urged the public to ignore rumors about financial institutions.

“It has been brought to the public’s attention that stories about our banks, which are rumors in nature, are not based on documents or facts and should not be heeded,” the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) said in a statement, adding that Turkey’s banks were functioning well.

Şimşek said that such speculations hit the foreign exchange rate in Turkey, calling for investors to maintain their confidence in the Turkish economy, which is “highly resilient to shocks.”

“Turkey has been in a serious fight against terror. Our economy has proved its resilience against shocks. Turkey has been normalizing in a rapid manner and will increase its resilience against shocks through new reforms,” he said, adding that a problematic era was about to end.

Şimşek noted that the Turkish economy would become stronger by resolving its problems both inside and out.

“We have been recovering our ties with Germany. Turkey is not distancing itself from the Western countries. The visa crisis with the United States has largely been overcome. I believe we will resolve some disputed areas,” he said.

Şimşek also said that a big step would be taken to launch a comprehensive reform package by the first quarter of 2018 in an effort to revive the business climate.

“There is a big difference about what is actually happening in Turkey and the perception of Turkey abroad. Turkey has been normalizing as it continues to make reforms. With the ongoing normalization process gaining more pace, Turkey will attract more investments,” he added.