Turkey may be poised to transfer CHP’s İşbank shares to Treasury

Turkey’s government may be poised to transfer a 28 percent stake in İşbank, Turkey’s biggest listed lender, belonging to the main opposition party to the Treasury. Shares in the bank fell.

Nurettin Canikli, the deputy chief of Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), presented the proposal to the most recent meeting of the AKP’s executive board, Hürriyet newspaper reported. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked Canıklı to revise the draft measure and Canıklı will present two alternative versions on Feb. 17, Hürriyet said.

Turkey’s government is reviving plans to commandeer the shares in İşbank owned by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) after the two parties clashed over the deaths of Turkish soldiers in Syria and this week accused each other of connections to the banned Islamic movement of Fethullah Gulen.  

İşbank’s shares dropped by 1.8 percent to 7.05 liras at 12:31 p.m. in Istanbul. The main BIST-100 index of shares rose by 0.2 percent.

Erdoğan said early last year that the Treasury would take over the CHP’s stake in İşbank, which was awarded to the party by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of both modern Turkey and the party.

Canıklı told the AKP meeting that the CHP owned property and motor vehicles via its shares in İşbank, as well as olive groves, according to Hürriyet.