Finance Minister refuses to answer corruption claims concerning bank loan, cites 'secrecy'

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has refused to answer a main opposition CHP deputy's parliamentary question regarding corruption allegations in connection with a bank loan provided to two energy firms. Albayrak said the issue falls within "banking secrecy."

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Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Tacettin Bayır has submitted a parliamentary question into corruption accusations concerning a loan granted by the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TKYB) to two firms, daily Birgün reported on Aug. 22.

“Is there an application of Uluder Electric firm for a loan of 18.4 million euros and of Karomad Energy Production firm for a loan of 5.8 million euros, a total of which amount of 24.3 million euros? If there are such applications, have they been given?” Bayır asked in his parliamentary inquiry addressing Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

Bayır said there are claims that two "friends" of the bank's CEO intervened in the loan application process and helped the two firms obtain the credit.

Bayır recalled in his inquiry that one of these "friends", only known by the initials S.Ç, has previously stood trial over alleged membership in a corruption gang in the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ).

Albayrak answered the CHP deputy's question two month after it was submitted. “The issues that have been mentioned are considered within the context of the bank secrecy,” Albayrak said in his answer.