Statement by Ambassador Birnur Fertekligil - Fifth Assembly of Parties of the International Anti Corruption Academy

Birnur Fertekligil 10.11.2016
10 November 2016, Vienna

Statement by the Representative of the Republic of Turkey
at the Fifth Assembly of Parties of the
International Anti-Corruption Academy - Vienna

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, on behalf of the Turkish delegation, I would like to share our gratitude for the Nigerian Presidency and to express our appreciation to all efforts and support of the IACA Secretariat for the work which has helped us in preparing for the discussions.

Mr. President,

Corruption is a crime. It damages socio-economic values, undermines the sense of justice and harms equality while generating unjust gains and unfair advantages for its perpetrators and frustrating those who abide by the rules. It poses a serious threat to justice, human rights, democratic institutions, rule of law, good governance as well as global growth, trade and the economic development.

It is estimated that corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some 1.2 trillion US dollars for developing countries per year. Even this single figure clearly demonstrates the financial magnitude of the problem we are facing.

As a matter of fact, this problem, while varies in its form, substance, frequency or intensity, exists worldwide. This is a phenomenon that does not recognize national borders. Without solid international cooperation and united response from the States, international organizations, such as IACA, interest groups including the private sector and the other relevant actors, the chances for complete success to defeat this scourge is unlikely.

In this respect, IACA’s contribution to the international efforts in this field is significant. The Academy has already achieved an important number of members with 69 Parties to the Agreement. This figure demonstrates a wide commitment to the goals of the Academy.

We gladly observe that the Academy moves forward to perform its task through a number of activities and programs. The Master Studies, training programs and workshops are noteworthy. We also appreciate the efforts made by IACA to provide scholarships for the participants from Least Developed Countries. Beside its educational programs, the Academy also functions as a forum to bring experts together with a view to carrying out researches and or discuss ideas in this field. We also believe that growing number of cooperation agreements with various stakeholders in the anti-corruption field may provide a basis for IACA’s further cooperation and coordination at the global level.

On the other hand, it is obvious that the IACA needs appropriate financial resources in order to pursue its mission and objectives. In this vein, we welcome the consideration of financial support to the organization by Parties, other donors from the public and private sector and the international community through direct or in-kind contributions. However, we strongly believe that the voluntary nature of those contributions, as clearly stipulated by the Agreement for the Establishment, is essential in this regard. Therefore we should abide by this core principle. We also appreciate any further effort of the Secretariat to increase the cost-efficiencies. I believe that this Assembly of Parties will enable us to conduct very fruitful and constructive deliberations on this particular issue.

Mr. President,

Fighting corruption has always been one of Turkey’s policy priorities. Thus, Turkey has enhanced its capacity through numerous legislative, administrative and institutional steps.

In this regard, the “Law on the Establishment of an Ethics Commission for Public Officials”, the “Law on Public Procurement”, the “Law against the Laundering of Proceeds of Crime”, the “Law on Public Financial Management and Control”, “Ombudsman Law”, “Law on the High Court of Accounts”, “Misdemeanors Law”, the “Law on Prevention of the Financing of Terrorism” and the “Law on Public Finances and Debt Management” have been modified or enacted, to name a few. The Turkish Criminal Code was also reformed and the preventive and suppressive measures regarding the money laundering offence were regulated in detail.

We believe that transparency, accountability and effectiveness are the key elements in the fight against corruption. In this respect, Turkish national strategy against corruption, which involves these critical components, was adopted, and being implemented since 2010. The national strategy is carried out with the active involvement of the civil society, business sector and academia.

Along with the IACA, Turkey is also a party to a number of international conventions and initiatives in this field. The United Nations Convention against Corruption, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Council of Europe Conventions on Criminal Law on Corruption and Civil Law on Corruption, OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions are some examples of these international instruments to which Turkey is state party.

Turkey also attaches importance to the fight against corruption in the private sector. As part of our efforts in this area, we have strengthened the transparency in government-business relations. The accountability for public officials is another key area that was focused.

Mr. President, Distinguished Participants,

An issue which we would like to particularly stress upon is the clear link between terrorism and organized crime, including corruption. In some cases, terrorist acts can be supported by corruption. The case of Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization is one of the most relevant examples of this link between organized crime and terrorism. On the 15th of July, FETÖ attempted a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government and the constitutional order in Turkey. It was the most brutal act of terrorism in the Turkish history. 241 people were killed and 2194 people were seriously injured. The perpetrators opened direct fire against civilians who took to the streets to protect their democratic institutions. They bombed the Parliament and the Presidential Palace. The attempt was thwarted thanks to the democratic reflexes of Turkish people who stood bravely against tanks, attack helicopters and war planes. The President, Parliament, the Government, opposition political parties, and the Turkish media also played a crucial role by resisting to submit to this heinous plot. There is compelling evidence that the coup attempt was planned by FETÖ leadership and orchestrated by the members of FETÖ who infiltrated the army. FETÖ infiltration was not limited to the army. In fact, they managed to position their followers in all critical state structures including in the judiciary, through such corrupt practices like cheating in public services entrance examinations and preventing the promotion of other public officials who did not belong to this group. It is undeniable that FETÖ’s clandestine infiltration within the State apparatus, and their corrupted practices or activities such as money-laundering and embezzlement provided them necessary oxygen to exist. Therefore, Turkey is now taking all necessary measures to tackle this threat. We believe that strong international cooperation in this field, including extradition of criminals or confiscation of the proceeds of crime, is key element in tackling with such threats where corruption is obviously used as one of the primary tools. At this point, let me clarify that following the failed coup attempt in Turkey, decisive and comprehensive measures have been put in practice throughout the state apparatus as well as in other fields where necessary. Such constitutional measures are being taken within the principles of rule of law by preserving the fundamental rights of our citizens.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted last year by the UN General Assembly should motivate all the States to take further and more ambitious steps to reach the specified ends. In this vein, we welcome the fact that the Goal-16 has specific targets to “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms” and “to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”. This goal also demonstrates the valuable role that international organizations such as IACA can play in this field.

I would like to assure you once again on Turkey’s commitment to make a genuine effort to bring this Assembly of Parties to a successful conclusion.

Thank you.



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