Turkey received $28 billion from unclear origins in the first 8 months of the year, per the FT. The country's finance minister says some of it was legitimate cash from holidaying Russians.

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  • From January to August, a record $28 billion from unclear origins trickled into Turkey, the FT said.

  • Turkey's finance minister believes that unaccounted-for tourism revenues were a key part of such inflows.

  • However, the inflows are all legitimate and legal, Nureddin Nebati, the Turkish finance minister said.

A record $28 billion of money from unclear origins has flown into Turkey between January and August this year, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. Turkey's finance minister, however, has played down these concerns.

Turkish finance minister Nureddin Nebati told the FT that he believed that "unaccounted-for tourism revenues" were a key part of such net inflows, which are categorized as "net errors and omissions" by the Turkish central bank under the Balance of Payments accounts, the FT reported.

Some of the money came from Russian tourists who had to use cash, as they were unable to access international financial payments systems due to sanctions, he told the media outlet.

Nebati told the FT Turkey and Russia's relationship are just "good neighbourly relations."

Russians have been Turkey's second-largest group of foreign visitors so far, accounting for about 13% of total visitors, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Germans have been the largest group of foreign travelers to Turkey in the first eight months of the year.

Nebati also attributed some of the uncategorized inflows to Turkish companies and individuals who where repatriating money — some times in cash — back to their home country, per the FT.

He added to the FT all the inflows was legitimate, adding that Turkey "acts very carefully within the international financial system. It's not a country that behaves in ways that will cause breaches of the international financial system"

Turkey's central bank did not immediately respond to Insider's request for information about the breakdown of the inflows from "net errors and omissions."

The mystery inflows into Turkey are not new, but they are coming under increasing scrutiny as Ankara and Moscow become cosier. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country will be working with Russia to create a "natural-gas hub," Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported.

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