New MASAK Financial Crimes and Compliance Regulations in Turkey

Some of the functions of financial intelligence units operating in many countries are prevention of money laundering and combating financial crimes. In Turkey, this struggle Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) is carried out by the Presidency.


MASAK Responsibilities and Authorities


Turkey Financial Crimes Investigation Board is also connected directly to the Minister and has some responsibilities and powers we have summarized below some of them. You can visit its page to examine MASAK's responsibilities in detail.


  • All efforts to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism
  • To identify the laundering proceeds of crime and the risks for economic security and follow the developments and develop measures to prevent these risks.
  • To collect data within the scope of preventing laundering proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism, receiving suspicious transaction reports, and evaluating these reports
  • In case of serious suspicion that money laundering or financing of terrorism has been committed, to convey the matter to the relevant Public Prosecutor's Office,
  • Cooperating with intelligence and law enforcement units to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism,
  • To audit or to ensure that obligations are carried out within the scope of the relevant legislation,
  • When necessary, the control center to liability in the eyes of the required units abroad in Turkey and to request information,
  • To request information and documents from public institutions and organizations, real and legal persons, and organizations without legal personality,
  • To work to increase public awareness and support


MASAK has made some innovations within the scope of its responsibilities and regulations. In the following of this article, we will talk about MASAK's new regulations and the compliance with this legislation.



MASAK Compliance Program Changes

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is also a member of Turkey and is a member since 1991; membership is a commitment to comply with the FATF standards requirement. FATF periodically evaluates the extent to which the member countries have implemented the standards set for combating the financing of ML / TF and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


Turkey is also directed to tour V. country assessments. "Mutual Evaluation Report was published in December 2019. In this context, some updates were made in local regulations. Identification limits were updated according to the current conditions, and the penalty amounts were increased. Besides, on this occasion, regulations were put on the agenda in remote account openings with developing technology. As a result of the evaluation process, different sanctions can be applied depending on the level at which countries are deemed inadequate and whether the deficiencies are corrected despite the follow-up.



Compliance Program According to MASAK's New Regulations

This regulation has been explained, and this compliance program regulation is explained in these five headings.


  • Obliged parties to create a compliance program
  • Financial group definition
  • Compliance Officer and Deputy Compliance Officer
  • Appointment and departure of a compliance officer and deputy compliance officer
  • Inner control


Obliged parties to create a compliance program

The scope of obliged parties that will form a compliance program has been expanded as follows: Group A authorized institutions, finance, factoring and leasing companies, precious metals intermediary institutions, portfolio management companies, electronic money institutions, and payment institutions (Intermediary service exclusively for invoice payments, payment exclusively Except for those who provide the service of order initiation and the provision of information exclusively related to the payment account).



Financial group definition

Some articles were explained on the determination of the main financial institutions and other institutions that make up the financial group and their notification to MASAK. These are as follows:


  • Notification of changes in the financial group to MASAK within 30 days
  • Establishing a Compliance Program at the financial group level
  • Assignment of Compliance Officer and assistant at the financial group level
  • The oversight responsibility for implementing the compliance program at the financial group level has been determined as the board of directors of the parent financial institution.

Also, the scope of the compliance program included; creating a group-level compliance program, establishing corporate compliance policies in parallel with the group compliance program, establishing group-level training policy, group-level coordination, group-level risk management activities and monitoring follow-up activities, determining the goals and boundaries of group-level information sharing, policy-making, compliance Taking into account the scope of the National Risk Assessment in the preparation of the program.



Compliance Officer and Assistant Compliance Officer

Appointing an assistant compliance officer with the qualifications sought for the compliance officer, positioning them in the organization to be subordinate to the compliance officer, assigning them in the same time and procedure as the compliance officer, transferring authority to the deputy compliance officer. If the compliance officer and the deputy compliance officer leave their job, they must be notified to MASAK within 10 days, and a new appointment is required within 30 days.



Inner control

It is regulated by whom the internal audit activities can be carried out; internal audit units or the inspection board. Internal audit units or other obliged parties who do not have an internal audit board. The scope of internal auditing has been expanded in terms of whether the audit activities are carried out by the person or unit authorized by the board of directors (the said authorized personnel are independent).



New Obligated Persons in Certain Non-financial Jobs and Professions


New Liabilities

  • Free lawyers in terms of specific transactions
  • Intermediaries in precious metal, stone, or jewelery trading transactions
  • Intermediaries in the purchase and sale transactions of all kinds of sea, air, and land transportation vehicles, including construction equipment


Certain Non-Financial Jobs and Professions

  • Those who trade precious metals, stones, or jewelery and intermediaries in these transactions
  • Those who deal with real estate purchase and sale for commercial purposes and intermediaries in these transactions
  • Notes
  • Self-employed lawyers within the scope of their work enumerated in the "Measures Regulation."
  • Independent accountant, the independent accountant financial advisor, working independently of an employer.
  • Independent audit firms authorized to audit financial markets.


Identification Transaction Limit

If the amount of the transaction or the total amount of more than one linked transaction exceeds the specified threshold, customer identification was required for transactions of 20,000 Turkish lire and above. In contrast, customer identification is now required for transactions of TL 75,000 and above.


In electronic transfers, if the transaction amount or the total amount of more than one related transaction exceeds the specified threshold, customer identification was required for transactions of TL 2000 and above. Still, now customer determination was required for transactions of TL 7500 and above.



Identification of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership in Abroad

For the real beneficiary to be recognized, the real and legal person partners with more than 25% share of the legal person customer should be identified according to the relevant articles of the Measures Regulation. Also, the changed regulation has brought the opportunity to confirm the information received from foreign legal person partners through official sources open to the public in the relevant country.



MASAK Audits and Sanctions That May Be Applied

The liability audit carried out by MASAK can be carried out on-site or remotely. MASAK inspections and sanctions will be as follows:


  • MASAK will make a written warning and give 30 days of the violation. If the violation is not remedied, an administrative fine of not less than 500,000 TL and an additional 60-day period to remedy the violation
  • If the violation is still not resolved, an administrative fine of twice the initial administrative fine and an additional 30 days will be given
  • If the violation is still not remedied, a notification will be sent to the main regulatory body to which the liability is subject to cease, restrict, or completely cancel the obliged party's license.
  • An administrative fine at the rate of one-fourth of the administrative fine applied to the '' board member/members and/or manager (s) '' of the violating obligee will be imposed.


We tried to explain the new regulations of MASAK above briefly. MASAK has published its regulations in the Turkish official newspaper and can be viewed by everyone. For detailed information on this subject, you can review the Turkish Official Gazette or view the Turkish Compliance Association's presentations.



Comply with Regulations with Sanction Scanner

Sanction Scanner AML Compliance Solutions comply with all global and local regulators such as FATF and MASAK. These regulations are dynamic, and alignment can be painful for you. At this point, by choosing Sanction Scanner AML solutions, you can easily comply with regulatory audits and compliance programs and protect your reputation by preventing financial crimes. In addition, with our easy integration and solutions, you can fight financial crimes without wasting time.


Besides, some non-financial in Turkey under the new legislation, certain businesses, and professions are, for example, precious metals, such as stones or jewelry purchase and sale of operating with mediating to these transactions Sanction Scanner solutions can easily comply with to the new legislation. Contact us or request a demo and discover our AI-powered AML compliance solutions that are best for you.


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