INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Turkey: Got Argues Public Listing by Fatf Would Be

Published: Fri 12 Feb 2010 05:28 AM
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DE RUEHAK #0234 0430528
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD21B0B0 AMG1917-695)
O 120528Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEATRS/TREASURY DEPT WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2103
UNCLAS ANKARA 000234
SENSITIVE
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C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY, AA/S ANDEW BAUKOL AND DAS DANIEL
GLASER, NSC FOR SHERWOOD-RANDALL AND BRINK
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN KTFN PTER PREL TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: GOT ARGUES PUBLIC LISTING BY FATF WOULD BE
UNFAIR
REF: 09 ANKARA 1725
1. (SBU) MFA U/S Feridun Sinirlioglu summoned the
Ambassador February 8 to argue that Turkey should not be
publicly named by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for
deficiencies found in the FATF's special review. Sinirlioglu
argued that when the FATF began this special review, the
Mutual Evaluation Review (MER) reports on more than 50 other
countries ) including many in Europe ) were not finalized
and they therefore were not considered for inclusion. Some
of those countries have problems more serious than Turkey's.
Turkey has cooperated fully with FATF, Sinirlioglu argued,
but the process was conducted in haste, had some
discrepancies (unspecified) and was not objective.
2. (SBU) Any country that is listed by FATF as even
partially deficient will be hard hit from an international
investment perspective, competing against many of the 50
countries whose AML/CTF regimes were not reviewed. Turkey is
therefore at a disadvantage, and including Turkey on a public
list is simply unfair until all countries are reviewed.
3. (SBU) Sinirlioglu noted that Turkey has formed a task
force to address its deficiencies and will present draft
legislation soon to the Parliament, but the legislative
process is slow and FATF needs to be patient. Repeating that
many European countries were not even subject to the special
review, he asked that FATF give Turkey fair treatment.
4. (SBU) Ambassador noted that the US is pleased with the
task force that Turkey has set up and the seriousness that
Finance Minister Simsek and the GOT has shown recently in
addressing FATF's concerns. However, the US and FATF have
tried to work with Turkey over the past five years to help
Turkey change its definition of terrorism and terror
financing legislation to ensure tighter controls, but Turkey
has been slow to act.
5. (SBU) Comment: If the Turks' contention is accurate --
that more than 50 countries, some of whom compete directly
with Turkey for investment, were not subject to this review
-- publicly listing Turkey could well put it at a competitive
disadvantage. The domestic political debate over the GOT's
Kurdish opening and attempts to bring the PKK down from the
mountains guarantees that passing any legislation on
terrorism will be difficult, and the perception that it
responds to a foreign demand will make it even harder to
pass. It at all possible, we recommend that Turkey,s public
listing be delayed, with a firm warning to Turkey that
without concrete progress it will be listed in 2011.
Jeffrey
"Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.s gov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey"
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