Bank Asya stands firm as gov't pressure intensifies

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said the public Ziraat bank is considering purchasing Turkey's Bank Asya, a move that many have interpreted as the authorities' latest effort to crush the lender as a form of vengeance against the Hizmet movement, with which Bank Asya is affiliated. However, Bank Asya said no such talks have taken place. Pressure on the bank intensified on Thursday as an agreement between the Finance Ministry and Bank Asya allowing the bank to collect taxes was canceled. The bank said it will take legal action against these decisions. A source involved in the financial market who asked to remain anonymous said the government has apparently launched a new campaign, this time trying to purchase the bank after numerous failed attempts to sink the bank earlier this year.