What Happened: U.S. prosecutors have filed an indictment in a New York district court charging Turkey's Halkbank with evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, Bloomberg reported Oct. 15.
Why It Matters: The case against Halkbank is separate from White House and U.S. congressional efforts to pressure Turkey over its offensive in Syria. However, the U.S. government could choose to enact future measures on the bank for evading Iran sanctions to ratchet up economic pressure on Turkey.
Background: A potential multibillion-dollar fine against the bank could cause temporary damage to Turkey's financial sector by raising uncertainty for domestic and international investors. Halkbank is one of Turkey's largest state-owned banks and has political ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- In Syria, Turkey Will Pay the Price for an Imperfect Buffer (Oct. 14, 2019)
- Turkey: For Ankara, Strategic Gains in Syria Are Worth the Economic Pain of Sanctions (Oct. 10, 2019)
- Turkey's Fragile Economy Faces a Blowback (Oct. 9, 2019)