BDDK denies filing complaints over critical comments about Turkey’s currency crisis

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Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency logo.

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) on Friday denied media reports claiming that it filed criminal complaints about dozens of people including journalists due to their critical reports about a currency crisis Turkey experienced in the summer of 2018.

Several Turkish media outlets as well as Bloomberg news on Thursday reported that dozens of people including two Bloomberg reporters have been indicted by Turkish prosecutors upon a request from the nation’s banking regulator, the BDDK.

Bloomberg reported that the charges relate to an August 2018 Bloomberg story about how Turkish authorities and banks were responding to the biggest currency shock in the country since 2001.

Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic, the reporters, are accused of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability. The charges carry a potential jail sentence of two to five years. The 36 other defendants listed in the indictment are charged for social media comments on the story, or comments deemed critical of Turkey’s economy and banks, Bloomberg reported.

Some Turkish media outlets put the number of indicted people at as many as 50.

In a written statement on Friday the BDDK said it did not file any criminal complaints against the individuals mentioned in Bloomberg’s reports and the reports in the Turkish media; however, it said it retains its right to take legal action against reports that could damage the prestige of the Turkish economy.

Turkey faced a currency crisis in August 2018, with the lira losing more than 30 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of 2018.

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