Turkish court rules for ‘bankruptcy’ of Gülen movement affiliated Bank Asya

The Commercial Court of First Instance in İstanbul ruled late Friday for the bankruptcy of private lender Bank Asya, which had its banking license cancelled after the last year’s coup attempt over its affiliation with the Gülen movement.

In the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government closed down Bank Asya on the grounds that it was linked to the Gülen movement.

Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) had already taken over management of Bank Asya and took control of 63 percent of its privileged shares, enough to name the board, in February 2015. New board members, a general manager and deputy general managers were appointed immediately.

Before the government seizure Bank Asya was one of the three banks with the highest liquidity in Turkey. The government unlawfully took over the bank on February 4, 2015, contrary to strict statutory banking regulations against such a drastic move.

The bank, which had 210 branches, 5,000 employees and around 1,5 million clients, was founded on October 24, 1996 upon formal approval from the regulators. It has operated under the supervision of the independent regulatory bodies in Turkey that were responsible for overseeing the banking sector. It was a popular bank.

In the aftermath of the controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 having an account at Bank Asya have been presented by prosecutors and government officials as evidence of being member to a so-called “terror organisation.”

Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Thursday that 8 holdings and 1,020 companies seized as part of operations into the movement.

Turkish Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz has also announced early November that the Turkish government has closed 2,274 educational institutions since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement. “A total of 1,065 private schools, 361 private educational institutions and 848 students dormitories have been closed,” said Yılmaz during a speech at Parliament’s Budget Commission.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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