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Transparency International Turkey Statement on Latest Corruption Scandal

On December 17, 2013, according to the news in the media, we have found out that an investigation has started which involving senior bureaucrats in the government, relatives of certain politicians and businessmen.

Transparency International-Turkey considers the elimination of the corruption as one of the major targets of the democratic political struggle. Only in this way, politics and public forces can serve for the universal humanitarian values.

It is important to conduct the investigation and proceedings at most care to the independency, impartiality, reliability, with respecting to the personal privacy rights and based on the rule of law. It is a requirement of a transparent, accountable and democratic governance to investigate and enlighten the corruption allegation with a due process which will satisfy the public conscious.

It is the prior responsibility of the executive, legislative and judicial powers to defend the separation of powers. The whole process which is carefully watched not only in Turkey but also in the world, should be treated utmost care and be avoided from the circumstances that could lead criticisms contradicting with principles of democracy during this process.

Equality before law is a requirement of rule of law and protection of this principle requires fair trial, objective judgment without any external interference.

Resignation of the individuals from their duties who hold public service and are related with the people that are subject of the investigation is required for the sound and fair investigation and also for an expression of an ethical responsibility of the public officials.

Considering the financial, social and ethical results of the issue which concern every segment of the society; the constant, transparent and satisfactory disclosure of the data regarding the investigation by the authorized institutions to public is a requirement of transparency principle.

As Transparency International -Turkey has underlined many times in the past, this investigation has again shown the need for a more transparent and accountable administration bound byrule of law and also necessary mechanisms to ensure the implementation thereof. Effective and accurate implementation of public procurement law and policitical ethics have utmost importance in this respect. While urban renewal projects have been implemented in a wide scope recently, zoning, housing and construction policies likely to constitute major risk areas in terms of corruption; thus necessary measures must be taken immediately in order to protect the social interests and rights of all segments of society as well as their economical and financial interests and rights.

With respect to the investigations concerning corruption, public bodies in charge of the isssue has a major responsibility to strengthen Turkey’s position which is now far-off to be praiseworthy and contribute in creating a democratic society idea. Effective efforts should be shown for obtaining results while tracking corruption claims in every level and pursuing consistent policies to make such efforts noticeable. These efforts must, at the same time, express social awareness and responsibility. Therefore, prompt and proper clarification of this ongoing investigation has significant importance not only for present time of Turkey but also for the meaning and value of the legacy that we will leave to our children.

Transparency International Turkey will follow-up this process closely and will continue its efforts in order to contribute to the development of a transparent, honest and accountable governance in every level, for a transparent society.

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E. Oya Özarslan
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