Ankara: Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the decision of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body tasked with combating money laundering and terrorist funding, to add his country in the so-called "grey" monitoring list is a political move.
"We all know that this decision is not a just and appropriate decision, but a political decision," he said at a press conference.
"It is Europe and the West that finances terrorism and gives it strength and direction. We are the ones who pay the price and struggle of this, but it is Turkey that they blame."
Along with Turkey, the FATF also place Mali and Jordan on its increased monitoring list, reports Xinhua news agency.
Turkey 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 said at a news conference on Thursday.
"Turkey needs to show it is effectively tackling complex money laundering cases and show it is pursuing terrorist financing prosecutions in line with its risks and prioritizing cases of UN-designated terrorist organisations such as IS and Al Qaeda," he said.
The Turkish Treasury and Finance Ministry on Friday said downgrading Ankara to the grey list despite coordination work with the watchdog has created an unwarranted result, noting that Ankara has taken steps considering the report of FATF.
"Our country introduced on December 27, 2020, a law preventing the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," it said in a statement noting that Turkey has made notable progress under FATF standards during the pandemic.
Ankara will continue to take necessary steps in cooperation with FATF and it will ensure that Turkey will be removed from this list as soon as possible, the Ministry added.