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Will Turkey join Pakistan in the FATF grey list for terror financing?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: IANS)

Global watchdog–the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has said that Turkey may be put on the 'grey list' for failing to combat money laundering and terror financing.

According to a report in UK’s The Financial Times newspaper, the FATF is likely to approve the decision to put Turkey on the ‘grey list’. The FT report also states that the 39-member plenary was ‘very likely’ to endorse the recommendation in its three-day session from October 19-21.

This would put Turkey alongside 22 other countries in the list that includes Albania, Morocco, Syria, South Sudan and Yemen.

Turkey had been put on notice two years ago over money laundering and terrorst financing.

The Middle East Eye says that any such decision will lead to Turkey losing billions of dollars in revenue. It would "deal a heavy blow to Turkey's fragile economy, with its currency already recording record losses against the US dollar. Since the beginning of this year, the Turkish lira has lost nearly 20 percent of its value".

Foreign investment in Turkey has seen a decline and is reportedly at its lowest in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 20 years at the helm.

If the FATF takes a decision to put Turkey on the 'grey list', the European nation would join close friend Pakistan–which has remained on the list since June 2018 for its support to terror groups.
Turkey has successfully supported Pakistan, along with China and Malaysia, in keeping Pakistan out of the 'black list'.

FATF had in June this year kept Pakistan on the 'grey list' for failing to check money laundering and terror financing. Though the Imran Khan government mounted a strong defence, FATF found that it had failed to investigate and prosecute senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups, including Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar.

The three-day session in Paris discussed issues that fuel crime and terrorism. The FATF is also looking at cross-border payments and how to improve these in a bid to prevent terror financing.

Pakistan's links with terror-tainted Taliban could derail FDI flows, crater the economy