Özarslan, Transparency International, on Turkish crisis: 'When the media closes its eyes, the whole country goes blind'

Tenders are announced in various ways, including the website of the Public Tenders Institution. But we have no way of knowing who is given which offer and what conditions are made for certain tenders. The fees paid for objecting to tender decisions have also increased significantly, which makes it difficult and expensive to complain,” says E. Oya Özarslan, chair of Transparency International Turkey (TI-Turkey), part of Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption.

Another problematic area, which is directly related to the gaps in the public tender process, is a lack of regulation in the area of political financing.

“I must stress that Turkey is one of few countries that does not have specific regulations regarding political financing. We do not have any rules on campaign financing and we do not know how election expenses are financed for parties and candidates. As far as we know, everything is unregistered for the candidates, and this creates huge advantages for the people financing them,” she says.

According to the 2013 Corruption Perception Index, Turkey is ranked at 53 with a score of 50 — lower than most G-20 countries.

Another index measures people’s experience of corruption in their daily lives. The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer asked Turkish people whether they had given bribes within the last 12 months in their interactions with eight basic public services. The percentage of Turkish people who reported giving bribes was 21 percent, or one out of every four or five people.

Özarslan elaborated on the issue in response to Yonca poyraz Doğan’s questions in Sunday’s Zaman here.