A recent report by the Turkish Court of Accounts, the government body responsible for auditing the accounts of public agencies and political parties, has revealed irregularities and corruption within the country’s public administrative bodies, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.
The audit court’s general activity report for 2022 found that public institutions did not properly assess their budget expenditures in accordance with regulations.
According to the report, 131 institutions concealed the source of their revenues such as loans and donations, while 234 public organizations did not explain the reasons for discrepancies between budget targets and actual figures.
It further revealed that the presidency spent TL 15 million ($552,400) a day in 2022.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s luxurious presidential palace and the large convoys that accompany him during his travels in Turkey and abroad are frequent subjects of debate in Turkey at a time of increasing poverty in the country.
Opposition politicians frequently point to the contradiction in Erdoğan’s remarks and his lifestyle given the fact that three of his four children studied university abroad and own property in Europe and the United States.
The court’s audit of the Health Ministry found that the ministry failed to include guarantees and financial obligations related to city hospitals in financial reports, failed to audit private hospitals and allowed unlicensed healthcare facilities to operate, thereby endangering public health.
It was also revealed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports provided a grant of TL 1.6 million ($58,922) to an association without any active athletes and only three coaches in total in 2021 and 2022.
Moreover, it has come to light that funds sent to municipalities and provincial directorates for the improvement of disaster-prone areas were not audited to determine how they were used.
The report stated that Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate, headed by Fahrettin Altun, lost TL 1.8 billion ($66.2 million) in 2022, and that AFAD, which has been criticized for its ineffective rescue efforts in disasters, lost TL 15 billion ($552 million) last year.
The Court of Accounts’ audit reports, which have revealed many instances of irregularities and corruption in public administrative bodies including some of the provincial and district municipalities run by President Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), have been subjected to various types of censorship under AKP rule.
Over the past several years, Turkey has been suffering from a deteriorating economy, with high inflation and unemployment as well as a poor human rights record. President Erdoğan is criticized for mishandling the economy, emptying the state’s coffers and establishing one-man rule in the country where dissent is suppressed and opponents are jailed on politically motivated charges.