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Turkey’s public loss exceeds $590 million under 18-year AKP rule

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Public loss in Turkey, which was only around TL 9 million ($1.19 million) in 2002, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, increased to TL 216 million ($28.6 million) in 2020, reaching TL 4.446 billion ($590.5 million) in total, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.

Public loss is the decrease in public resources as a result of a decision, transaction or action by public officials that violates legislation and that stems from their intention, fault or negligence, according to Law No 5018 on Public Financial Management and Control.

What led to the significant surge in public loss in Turkey was the appointment of underqualified former ministers, lawmakers and other members of the AKP as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s former advisors as administrators for the country’s leading public enterprises, Birgün said.

According to Birgün, the auditors of the Court of Accounts have prepared a large number of judicial reports, regarding public loss identified during the audit of the accounts and transactions of public administrations within the scope of the general government.

The judicial reports were sent to the prosecutors’ offices and will be taken as a basis for trials to be conducted by the chambers of the Turkish Court of Accounts for the indemnification of the public loss from those officials responsible for it.

An economic downturn and the value of the lira, which is hitting record low after record low, coupled with an additional negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have rendered Turks’ financial difficulties visible in 2020.

The country’s religious authority, the Diyanet, which sent mosques a sermon to read during the Friday prayer last week advised patience to Muslims who are suffering from financial difficulties, in an attempt to cover up the AKP government’s poor performance on the economy, Turkish media reports said.

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