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European anti-corruption group highlights continuing lack of progress in Turkey

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The Council of Europe’s (CoE) Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published two reports on Turkey highlighting a continuing lack of progress on improving the transparency of party funding and preventing corruption among MPs, judges and prosecutors, the CoE said on its website on Friday.

GRECO’s initial evaluation of Turkey’s efforts to criminalize different types of bribery and improve the transparency of party funding, published in April 2010, included a total of 17 recommendations to the authorities.

Today’s report, which is the seventh assessment of Turkey’s progress on implementing those recommendations, concludes that the results achieved thus far are still inadequate.

Although seven of the recommendations have been satisfactorily implemented, six have been only partly implemented and four not implemented – all of which concern the transparency of party funding.

GRECO states that in view of the continued lack of progress on party funding, the situation remains disappointing. It notes, in particular, that the Turkish authorities made reference to legislative reforms in this area being underway as far back as 2012, but they still have not materialized.

An initial evaluation of measures to prevent corruption among members of parliaments, judges and prosecutors in Turkey was published by GRECO in March 2016 and included 22 recommendations to the authorities.

Today’s report notes that only two of those recommendations have so far been implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner, concluding that the overall level of compliance is “globally unsatisfactory.”

The report notes that no tangible progress has been made recently on measures to prevent corruption among MPs, judges and prosecutors.

GRECO notes that there is still no code of ethical conduct for MPs and that other shortcomings also need to be addressed, such as the transparency of the legislative process as well as integrity training and counselling for MPs.

Regarding the judiciary, GRECO stresses that the underlying reasons behind its recommendations remain the fundamental structural changes which have weakened judicial independence and led the judiciary to appear even less independent from the executive and political powers than before.

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