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Anti‐money laundering law of Turkey and the EU: an example of convergence?

Umut Türkşen (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)
İsmail Ufuk Mısırlıoğlu (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)
Osman Yükseltürk (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper critiques the recent anti‐money laundering (AML) legislation in Turkey and the European Union (EU) in order to determine whether there is convergence between them. Given the fact that Turkey is a candidate country for the EU membership, harmonisation of Turkish and the EU AML frameworks has become increasingly important. These AML laws pose important responsibilities for the financial and legal sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to facilitate the evaluation process, the AML regimes examined are compared in regards to various aspects, such as criminalisation of money laundering, recording and reporting obligations, enforcement and sanctions mechanisms. Findings from activity reports from the regulatory bodies as well as semi‐structured interviews conducted with relevant professionals are incorporated into the discussion.

Findings

It can be argued that the Turkish AML regime is in line with the EU AML framework. However, there is a need for government authorities to coordinate their efforts with the relevant independent regulatory professional bodies that represent the liable professionals in Turkey. While it is evident that each national regime in the EU has adopted a unique AML framework, minimum standards provided by international (e.g. the Financial Action Task Force) and regional (e.g. EU) instruments have been the main driving force behind all national laws.

Practical implications

The involvement of professional regulatory bodies will enhance competence to monitor compliance and provide training mechanisms and guidance for liable professionals pertaining to AML regulations.

Social implications

Effectiveness of AML initiatives will enhance with improved cooperation and communication between the executive, law enforcement agencies and businesses. This will improve the reporting of suspicious financial activities and subsequent enforcement.

Originality/value

The paper provides an up‐to‐date account of the Turkish legal regime pertaining to AML and demonstrates its shortcomings whilst assessing it against the EU AML framework. The findings of the study contribute to the existing literature and shed light on areas for reform.

Keywords

Citation

Türkşen, U., Ufuk Mısırlıoğlu, İ. and Yükseltürk, O. (2011), "Anti‐money laundering law of Turkey and the EU: an example of convergence?", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 279-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/13685201111147577

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited