Turkey has had a great economic run over the last several years, and it’s government really wants to keep it going.Perhaps that’s why, as Bloomberg reports, the legislators passed a new law making certain types of commentary on markets a criminal offence punishable with five years in prison.
As a result of this measure, SocGen has ordered its employees to stop commenting on the country all together, and Bank of America and Commerzbank AG are figuring out how the law will affect their business.
Turkey’s Capital Markets Law enacted on Dec. 31 stipulates punishment for “those who provide untruthful, wrong or misleading information, start rumours, or provide news, commentary, or prepare reports with the intention of influencing prices, values of capital markets instruments or investor decisions.”…
“I am quite surprised by the contents of the section on market commentary as the authorities have proven to be proactive in promoting an investor-friendly environment in the past,” Benoit Anne, head of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale in London, said by e-mail today. The bank is seeking legal advice and won’t comment on Turkish markets until further notice, he said.
The country’s Capital Markets Board had no comment for Bloomberg.
However, the report points out that freedom of speech has taken a serious beating in Turkey according to advocacy group, The Committee To Protect Journalists. In an October report on Turkey it pointed out that the country has more journalists in jail than any other country and that President Racep Tayyip Erdogan has overseen “one of the biggest crackdowns on press freedom in recent history.”