Ankara, February 4, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
The battle of Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the leader of the Hizmet movement Fethullah Gulen has reached its peak, after the Supervisory Authority Banking System of Turkey (BDDK), on Tuesday evening, announced its decision to seize 63% of the bank shares of Asya Bank, which is controlled by Gulen.
According to the decision, starting Wednesday morning, the bank will be managed by the Deposit Protection Fund (TMSF), which is controlled by the Turkish government. The Bank Supervision Authority asserts that there is shadiness in the share register of Asya Bank
Essentially the Turkish government pulls the plug from Gulen’s source of funding and significant revenue. All companies controlled by the Hizmet movement paid the salaries of their employees through Asya Bank.
Together with the seizure of the bank’s shares, the Turkish government also canceled the passport of Fethullah Gülen, who since 1999 has been living in the United States. Ankara informed US officials, on January 28, that it cancels Gulen’s passport because it was issued with a “false declaration”.
Erdogan and the ruling AKP party blame Gulen for creating a parallel state and that he is behind uncovering of the corruption scandals that hit the Turkish Government in December 2013 and ultimately aimed to overthrow Erdogan. Political analysts point out that until 2013 Gulen was considered an ally of the AKP and the members of his movement were placed in key positions in the police and the judiciary.
The cancelation of his passport may bring Ankara closer to submitting a formal request for the extradiction of Gulen.