World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey will use state-owned lender Halkbank to deposit revenues from northern Iraqi oil exports, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday.
Halkbank’s head Suleyman Aslan was arrested last month over corruption allegations as part of an anti-graft probe.
The Turkish government calls the probe a setup with international links aimed at weakening the economy.
Babacan said the bank will be used for payments with Iraq as was the case in gas trade with Iran.
Turkey, which exports most of its energy, has major oil and natural gas deals underway with the northern Iraqi administration in a three-way partnership that also includes the central Iraqi government.
No capital flight
Babacan earlier said Halkbank’s legal entity was under attack over the arrest of its general manager, although the bank was never linked with the allegations.
"A bank has to gain the confidence of both Iran and the US (to do business with Iran). Halkbank was a bank that fitted the bill. It is natural that it was an envied institution," he said.
The December 17 graft probe shook the country’s political scene when it led to the arrests of high-profile bureaucrats and businessmen, and forced three ministers whose sons were detained out of cabinet.
It also appeared to take a toll on the economy, bringing Turkey’s sole exchange entity nearly ten percent down since its onset. Borsa Istanbul has since shown signs of recovery.
Deputy Prime Minister Babacan noted that there was no net capital outflow from the markets since the graft operation.
He stressed that the government would never cover up any corruption attempts and show no leniency in getting to the bottom of allegations.
“Turkey has every means to sustain a stable and secure financial environment," he said.
"We will not let this environment to be spoiled".Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2014, 17:59