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Turkish banking watchdog files criminal complaints against economists, journalists over forex remarks - Ahval

(Updates with information on Durmuş Yılmaz, new complaints)

Turkey’s banking watchdog has filed a criminal complaint against five people, including former central bank governor Durmuş Yılmaz, over violating the Banking Law’s Article 74 of “protection of reputation” of a bank, T24 news website reported on Monday.

The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) filed the complaint against Yılmaz, Güldem Atabay, Burhanettin Bulut, Emin Çapa and Selçuk Geçer under Article 162 of the Turkish Penal Code, for violating Article 74 of Banking Law, it said, citing unidentified sources from the BDDK.

The clause states that “No real or legal person shall intentionally damage the reputation, prestige or assets of a bank or disseminate inaccurate news either using any means of communication defined in the Press Code No. 5187 or radio, television, video, internet, cable TV or electronic data communication devices and similar tools.” 

Article 162 of Turkish penal code for “reckless bankruptcy” carries a maximum sentence of one year.

The complaints arrive as the Turkish lira grapples with volatility. The currency earlier this month sunk to record lows before surging some 50 percent last week following a forex market intervention and the announcement of a lira deposits protection plan. The lira remains 35 percent weaker than a year ago.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week accused central bank governor Yılmaz of "market manipulation" over his remarks on the ailing currency.

Yilmaz worked as central bank governor between 2006 and 2011. He has served as a parliamentarian for the opposition Good Party (İYİP) since elections in July 2018.

Later on Monday, Turkey media outlets reported that the BDKK filed criminal complaints against another 21 people on the same charges, including another former governor of the central bank, Rüşdü Saraçoğlu, and economist Mustafa Sönmez.

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