The Turkish government is involved in money laundering, let alone trying to prevent it, Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener said during a parliamentary group meeting of her party on Oct. 27.
"Is money being laundered in Turkey? Yes, unfortunately it is. And it's done directly by the government," Akşener said.
Her remarks came days after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), set up by the G7 group of advanced economies to protect the global financial system, downgraded Turkey to a so-called grey list for failing to head off money laundering and terrorist financing, a decision that could further erode foreign investment after a years-long exodus.
Turkey, the largest to be downgraded, needs to address "serious issues of supervision" in its banking and real estate sectors, and with gold and precious stones dealers, FATF President Marcus Pleyer told a news conference on Oct. 21.
Akşener said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has dragged Turkey out of the ranking for 20 largest economies in the world while it promised to add the country to the top 10 by 2023.
"You're placed on the grey list if there are large sums of money laundering in your country, if terrorist groups are financed by your country and you fail to combat all these issues," she said.
The Turkish government acquits money launderers if they turn over their funds to the state with a commission, the İYİ Party leader continued, adding that "it's not a bleach commercial, it's the AKP government."
Noting that the presidential system is a national security threat, the chairwoman said that the president's understanding of national security was confined to his post.
"Anything and anyone that threatens his seat is a national security threat... You can't make a living? You're a terrorist. You're on the brink of bankruptcy? You're a traitor," Akşener said. "Look at this freakish situation that this freakish system put our country in."
"Politicians who have been alienated to their public and say that 'the fate of AKP is the fate of Turkey' are national security threats," Akşener said. "Long story short, the presidential system is a security threat for causing all this."