Rifat Başaran – ANKARA
The Turkish presidency has declined to answer a question on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisors submitted by a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, saying the issue did not concern the public and is irrelevant to an act on the right to information.
CHP deputy Niyazi Nefi Kara first submitted an inquiry in parliament to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, asking about “the areas in which the president’s chief advisors were carrying out a duty, the current number of them, their salaries, and the number of chief advisors assigned during the terms of former presidents.”
Kaya then addressed the same question to the president’s office on grounds that it was part of the act numbered 4982 on “the right to information.”
The first answer was given by the secretariat general of the presidency, with the signature of Assistant Secretary-General Nadir Alparslan.
“Article 25 of the 4982-numbered law says, ‘Information and documents on regulations of institutions that do not concern the public and are just in relation to their own personnel and intra-institution implementations are out of ‘the right to information.’ But the institution’s employees, affected by the regulations in question, have the right to information. As for this provision, your request is out of context of the aforesaid law,” the secretariat general said in its answer to Kaya.
In a letter signed on behalf of Yıldırım, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also left Kaya’s question unanswered.
Bozdağ said that within the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the Turkish parliament, the parliament could be used as a means to receive information regarding the prime minister and ministers only but not the president.