Turkey: Combating Against the Financing of Terrorism in Turkey

Last Updated: 8 November 2010

By means and tools of the global information age, terrorist organizations are broadening their reach in gathering financial resources to fund their operations. Sources of financing include legal enterprises such as nonprofit organizations and charities (whose illicit activities may be a small or large proportion of overall finances, known or unknown to donors); legitimate companies that divert profits to illegal activities; and illegal enterprises such as drug smuggling and production, bank robbery, fraud, extortion, and kidnapping. Websites are also important vehicles for raising funds. The proliferation of terrorist websites link for addresses for contributions is at least circumstantial evidence of their usefulness.

Established Money laundering techniques are utilized by terrorist groups in order to clean dirty Money to fund members. Widely used techniques are the transfer of important financial deposits to a large number of small bank accounts below the thresholds of control, to take advantage of off-shore banks escaping legal controls and trade mispricing where terrorist front companies declare false values of merchandises, use double invoicing or fabricate shipments altogether. Terrorists practice "inverse" Money laundering since they transform clean Money into dirty Money whereas in the case of organized crime things are happening just the other way round.

As a counter measure governments can freeze and block financial assets by labeling individuals or organizations as terrorists or as being associated with terrorism. These actions degrade terrorists' access to funds and increase the costs of raising, transferring, and using funds. This may reduce the resources that terrorists' can use to execute attacks and, hence, the geographic scope and lethality of their attacks.

International cooperation among government of global States works through a multilateral forum including the UN, the EU, the G8, the G20, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Egmont Group and the international financial institutions. The comprehensive web of international conventions and protocols developed by United Nations and Institutions has established legal ground.

Turkey is among the few countries that have already signed and ratified all of those conventions. After 9/11, the UNSC stepped up its counter terrorism efforts by adopting resolutions 1373 and 1390. Resolution 1373 decided that member states shall prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts. Resolution 1390 (recently strengthened by Resolution 1455) continued sanctions against Usama Bin Laden the Taliban, al Qaeda and list of individuals and entities subject to the sanctions. The Security Council has also connected resolutions requiring member states to report on their national regimes for combating terrorist finance.

Turkey has showed her support to international fight against terrorism and financing of terrorism, and in this respect Turkey has taken some important steps. In December 30, 2001, Ministerial Council of Turkey decided to freeze all claims and the rights in banks and in the other financial institutions as well as in natural and corporate bodies including the values existing in deposit boxes in Turkey of the terrorist organizations, persons and the institutions, which stated in the UN Security Council Resolutions 1267/1999, 1333/2000 and 1373/2001. It is also asked to prohibit the entries and transit passages of the persons who are in the list of the UN. Within this context; The Council of Ministers of Turkey has published some Resolutions so far. Some of these resolutions are, 22th December 2001/3483, 21st March 2002/3873, 16th May 2002/4206, 01st October 2002/4896, 28th March 2003/5426, 18th February 2004/6876, 04th April 2005/8685, 17th April 2006/10356 and 2006/10365.

The FATF has served since 1989 as the world's pre-eminent setter of regulatory standards and best practices on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist finance. After 9/11 FATF adjusted its work in order to cope with terrorist finance.

Also of high importance is the cooperation with the private banking sector, especially if one considers that the amounts of finance which has been frozen so far rather small. Confidential cooperation with the financial sector in the highly developed countries as well as in the others is a key factor. Unofficial remittance mechanisms should also be closely monitored. Another important subject for cooperation between the relevant international institutions and the banking and financial sector concerns the establishment of appropriate legislation in individual countries. Financial institutions can assist governments and their agencies in the fight against terrorism through prevention, detection and information sharing. They should seek to prevent terrorist organizations from accessing their financial services, assist governments in their efforts to detect suspected terrorist financing and promptly respond to governmental enquiries.

"Know your customer" policies and procedures is important to the fight against terrorism. Specifically the proper identification of customers by financial institutions can improve the efficacy of searches against lists of known or suspected terrorists issued by competent authorities having jurisdiction over the relevant financial institution. Monitoring and then identifying and reporting unusual or suspicious transactions may assist government agencies by linking seemingly unrelated activity to the financing of terrorism. The main aspects of a bank's monitoring process were outlined: screening, also known as filtering of payment instructions prior to their execution; searches, identification of past transactions; monitoring the process of monitoring transactions after their execution to identify unusual activity; need to establish patterns to replicate in search mechanisms. As a general rule, not all large transactions are unusual, and not all unusual transactions are suspicious.

Presidency of Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) is an administrative institution and operates directly to the Minister of Finance in Turkey. The mission of MASAK with regard to preventing money laundering, terrorism financing and detecting these offences is to make policies and to contribute making regulations, to collect information fast and reliably and to analyze them, to carry out investigation and research, and to convey the information and the results to relevant authorities.

According to MASAK General Communiqué No:3, published in Official Gazette on February 7, 2002, the following transaction type is added to the 19 suspicious transaction types, determined in order to help the obligators while they are carrying out their suspicious transaction reporting obligations by this Communiqué: "If suspect or have reasonable grounds to suspect that funds are linked or related to, or is to be used for terrorism or terrorist acts".

Other fundamental legislations on combating terrorism and terrorism financing in Turkey are Law No:3713 Fight Against Terrorism, Law No:5237 Turkish Criminal Code and Law No: 5271 Criminal Procedure Law. Terror crimes are determined in the Article 3 of the Law on Fight Against Terrorism and crimes committed for terror purposes are stipulated in Article 4 of the mentioned Law. To be considered as terror crimes, the crimes stated at Article 4 have to be committed with the purpose of the activities mentioned at Article 1. Special criminal courts and public prosecutors in their jurisdictions were authorized for investigations and prosecutions of crimes against state security, under Article 250 of Criminal Procedure Law No. 5271. And according to Article 9 of Law No. 3713, crimes included within the scope of this Law shall be tried in heavy penal courts specified in paragraph one of Article 250 of Criminal Procedure law.

The Law No. 5532 amended Article 8 of the Law No. 3713. In accordance with this article which is very similar to the definition noted in Article 2 of UN Convention for Suppressing of Financing of Terrorism (1999); "Those who knowingly or willingly provide or collect funds, that they would be entirely or partially used to commit terror crimes, shall be punished as a member of the terrorist organization".

It is stated under the "Confiscation of goods" title at Article 54 of Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 that: "Provided not belonging to the bona fide third parties, the goods used in committing a deliberate offence or allocated for committing an offence or derived from a crime shall be confiscated." In addition Article 55 of the same code states that: "The material benefits derived from committing a crime or constitutes the subject of the crime or provided for committing the crime with the economical earnings obtained by the deposition or conversion of them shall be confiscated". Since to provide or collect funds to be used to commit terror is an independent crime according to this Article, it is very clear that the goods used in or allocated for or derived from or material benefits derived from such crimes shall be confiscated.

Moreover modern investigation techniques are utilized on Combating Terrorism under Criminal Procedure Law No.5271 such as interception of communication, technical surveillance, confiscation of criminal profits, witness protection, undercover operations, setting up conspiracy investigation groups in investigations. Article 128 of the same code designates that in cases where there is a strong suspicion that the offence subjected to the prosecution or investigation has been committed, assets proceeded from the offence belonging the suspect or accused, may be seized by the decision of a Judge.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions