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Bribery common and acceptable in Turkey, research finds

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 5/31/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Bribery and corruption are still widespread in Turkey because there is little enforcement of anti-fraud legislation, according to an executive at Ernst & Young’s regional branch.

Bribery and corruption are still widespread in Turkey because there is little enforcement of anti-fraud legislation, according to an executive at Ernst & Young’s regional branch.

“While companies are making progress in strengthening their ethical culture, a significant portion of Turks responding to a [recent] survey still consider it acceptable to pay bribes to win or retain business,” Dilek Çilingir, head of Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services in Central and Southeastern Europe, said at an Istanbul meeting Tuesday while revealing the results of the European Fraud Survey.

Some 77 percent of Turkish employees think that bribery and fraud is common in Turkey, she said.

“Businesses in general need strong corporate cultures to fight the risks of fraud, bribery and corruption – a culture which, by necessity, must start from the top of the organization,” said Çilingir.

However, the survey suggests that a significant minority in businesses are still prepared to do “whatever it takes” to help their business survive and grow – including issuing bribes.

Some 37 percent of the respondents in Turkey approve of bribery to allow businesses to become successful; this rate is much lower in other countries at 10 percent in Germany, 13 percent in the United Kingdom, 19 percent as a whole in Europe and 23 percent in Spain.

Some 29 percent of the Turkish respondents reported that they accepted personal gifts to retain business whereas this rate was 17 percent in Europe, the research found.

According to the survey, many companies have a long way to go in addressing the challenges of fraud and corruption.

Some 105 employees in Turkey responded to the questions, while another 2,255 employees in 24 other European countries also participated in the survey.

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