The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to nationalize the bank Isbank. He said on Tuesday in the parliament that the largest loan provider in the country will become the property of the Ministry of Finance. The shares of Isbank on the Istanbul stock exchange fell sharply.

Isbank was founded in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey. Upon his death in 1938 his shares were transferred to the political party CHP. The current opposition party still holds more than a quarter of the bank.

‘Political games’

The financial group is talking about political games, in the run-up to the local elections in March, and strongly opposes the proposed nationalization. Erdogan wanted to nationalize Isbank for some time. Last year he said that it would be more appropriate if the bank were to fall under the Ministry of Finance and that the “shares of Atatürk” should not be of one political party.

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