Terrorism costs Turkey $1 trillion: Minister

Terrorism costs Turkey $1 trillion: Minister

Aysel Alp ANKARA
Terrorism costs Turkey $1 trillion: Minister

The Finance Minister says Turkey loses $1 trillion due to terrorrism. AA Photo

Turkey has lost some $350 billion directly and $1 trillion indirectly over the last 30-40 years due to terrorism and its spillover effects, said Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Dec. 26.

“It is not easy to calculate how much terrorism costs Turkey. Turkey has lost around $350 billion over the last 30-40 years due to terrorism, according to several experts. We can say terrorism has cost Turkey around $1 trillion overall,” he said at the Symposium of Detection and Analysis of Financial, Economic and Social Impacts of Organized Crime.

The eastern and southeastern regions of the country couldn’t attract direct investment, despite fertile agricultural soil and a young population, due to terrorism, he said.

“Terrorism and other unlawful actions, such as drug trafficking, fuel each other. Organized money laundering is the greatest problem here. The fight against these actions must be multilateral,” he said.
“Unless we drain crime organizations of their financial resources, we cannot win this fight,” he added.

He noted that Turkish inspectors have faced several financial institutions, cargo freight companies and online betting companies in money laundering activities, so control over them will continue in the future.

Thanks to the steps taken to fight against dirty money, Turkey was removed in November from the “grey list” of countries drawn up by the 36-member Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a money-laundering watchdog, Şimşek said.

The Financial Crime Investigation Board (MASAK) signed cooperation deals with 43 countries in the fight against money laundering and is also a member of the EGMONT Group, which helps facilitate the exchange of information.

Turkey had warned three banks and urged them to cooperate more effectively with the government to share transaction data “in the fight against terrorism,” Şimşek had said on Dec. 7. He noted that all three have since taken the required steps.