Statement by Prof. Remzi Çetin, member of the TGNA, on the issue of "Fight Against Corruption" at the IPU 2006 Parliamentary Hearing

Remzi Çetin 14.11.2006
Mr. President
Distinguished Colleagues,

As we all know, corruption is a threat for democracy. It erodes confidence in and respect for democratic institutions and emerges as an obstacle to economic development.

Good governance, transparency, preparing the required legal basis and its effective implementation, public awareness and involvement of non-governmental organizations are important tools in the fight against corruption.

Turkey has been considering the fight against corruption as a priority matter. To this end, we have intensified our efforts in the recent years.

In order to identify the social reasons and economical dimensions of corruption and to take the necessary measures, Turkish Grand National Assembly established an Investigation Commission in February 2003. The Commission prepared a very comprehensive report, where certain areas have been identified as "areas where the relevance of corruption is high."

A number of new laws and amended legislation have been adopted in Turkey with a view to combating corruption effectively. Law on Public Procurement (2003), the Law on Public Financial Management and Control (2003), the Law Amending the Banks Act (2003), and the Law on the Establishment of the Public Servants' Ethics Board (2004) could be named in this respect.

The new Turkish Penal Code which entered into force on 1 June 2005 foresees effective measures in the fight against corruption. Confiscation of proceeds from crime is regulated in this law. Bribery of foreign public officials is also included as crime in the new code.

We consider the adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption as a landmark development in the fight against corruption. Turkey took part in the preparation works of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna and is among the first countries that signed the Convention on 10 December 2003.

I am pleased to state that the instrument of ratification of this Convention was deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 8 November 2006. In accordance with the relevant provisions, Turkey will become a party to the Convention as of 8 December 2006. Thus, Turkey will participate in the First Conference of the States Parties to the Convention against Corruption, which will be held in Amman/Jordan on 10-14 December 2006, as a State Party.

In conformity with the international practice, Turkish Grand National Assembly declared 9th of December as Anti-Corruption Day in Turkey.

In addition to the UN Convention, Turkey ratified the Council of Europe Civil and Criminal Law Conventions on Corruption and became a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in 2004.

Turkey also ratified the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (1990) in 30 July 2004.

Turkey is also a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and of the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

Thank you