FATF Team Visits Turkey Ahead of ‘Grey List’ Decision, Sources Say

Adelegation from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conducted meetings with Turkish authorities last week, ahead of the global financial crimes watchdog’s highly-anticipated report on the country next month, two sources said.


Turkish officials have been saying the process to remove Türkiye from the FATF’s “gray list” has reached its final stage. The list includes countries that the watchdog suggests have taken insufficient action to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

The “on-site” visit, which was not publicized, assessed Türkiye’s progress in curbing the money laundering and terrorist financing concerns that prompted the downgrade in 2021, one of the people familiar with the multiday visit told Reuters.

The person said that the team’s report would form the basis of the FATF’s decision at a June 28 plenary, which Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has signaled will mark Türkiye’s departure from the list of countries under special scrutiny.

In its last statement on Türkiye, in February, the FATF said it made an initial determination that the country “has substantially completed its action plan” and warrants an on-site assessment.

“We have successfully completed our technical studies to remove our country from the grey list,” Şimşek said in late February.

“The process of leaving the grey list will be completed with the on-site inspection to be held in June,” he added on social media platform X.

In November last year, he said the country was fully compliant with all but one of the watchdog’s 40 standards.

That included technical compliance related to cryptocurrency assets. This January, Türkiye announced it had reached the final phase in the technical studies of the legal regulations regarding crypto assets.

It was unclear which government, private sector, or non-governmental entities or officials met with the team from the FATF, which was set up by the G-7 group of advanced economies to protect the global financial system.

Twenty other countries are on the FATF’s “grey list.” International Monetary Fund (IMF) research shows such a downgrade can strain countries’ ties to foreign banks and investors that follow FATF rankings, so an upgrade in June could boost the Turkish lira and assets.