Central Bank of Turkey transfers profit ahead of elections

Three months ahead of local elections, the board of the Turkish Central Bank held an early general meeting to discuss the transfer of 90 percent of its annual profit to the Treasury.  According to the press release issued by Central Bank, it was decided that 33.7 billion lira of the 37 billion profit will be transferred to Treasury.

The meeting, which was originally set to take place on April 30, was instead held on January 18 on request by Treasury. The opposition has regarded the early meeting as an endeavour to cover the election expenses of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. The controversial Cumhuriyet daily announced the event with the headline: “33 billion down-payment for the election”.

Motions on agenda

The two main items on the agenda were the motion to amend the article that requires the general meeting to be held in April each year, and the motion to advance payment of dividends to shareholders.

Regarding the first motion, a new regulation will imply that the general meeting is to be held within the first three months following the respective financial year. When questioned, by shareholders, about the haste of an early general meeting of the bank, Murat Cetinkaya, Chairman of the Central Bank, disclosed that the request for the meeting came from other shareholders.

“It is wrong!”

The second motion, proposed by the representative of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, to advance payment of dividends, was carried out with an open vote. This process received criticism from Adnan Bahar, a shareholder of the bank.

“The vote was carried out incorrectly. The regulation will be dismissed if it goes to court,” Bahar claimed. “There is a legal gap. You can’t carry out this motion by raising hands.

It is wrong. You have amended the Articles of Association of the Bank in 30 seconds,” he said, clearly showing his discontent with the process.

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