WASHINGTON, USA — The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action yesterday against two ministries and three senior Turkish Government officials in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria. The Turkish government’s actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS.
The government of Turkey’s ministry of national defence and the ministry of energy and natural resources, as well as the minister of national defence, minister of energy and natural resources, and the minister of the interior are blocked as a result of yesterday’s action. The designation of these ministries and officials is a result of the Turkish government’s actions that further deteriorate peace, security, and stability of the region. We are prepared to impose additional sanctions on the government of Turkey officials and entities, as necessary.
“The United States is holding the Turkish government accountable for escalating violence by Turkish forces, endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with persons designated today may themselves be exposed to designation. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates any significant financial transactions for or on behalf of the persons designated today could be subject to US correspondent or payable-through account sanctions.
The actions are not intended to affect or disrupt the operation of international humanitarian NGOs or the United Nations in Turkey in rendering humanitarian assistance to Syrian communities in need.
OFAC is prepared to issue authorizations, such as general or specific licenses, as appropriate, to ensure that today’s action does not disrupt Turkey’s ability to meet its energy needs.
Additionally, OFAC issued three general licenses simultaneously with yesterday’s executive order.
General license one authorizes the conduct of the official business of the United States government by employees, grantees, or contractors otherwise prohibited by the order. General license two authorizes a 30 day wind-down period for all transactions and activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind-down operations, contracts, or other agreements involving the ministries of national defence or energy and natural resources of the government of Turkey. General license three authorizes official activities of the United Nations involving them the ministry of national defence or the ministry of energy and natural resources of the government of Turkey.
As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of these persons, and of any other persons blocked by operation of law, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. E.O. October 14, 2019, and OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interest in the property of blocked persons.