Military spending not transparent, report
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
We cannot talk about transparency at all in military spending, says Lale Kemal (C) , the writer of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation report. DHA photoMilitary spending can no longer be monitored and controlled by the Court of Accounts after a new law came into force in August, according to a recent Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) report.
“The new law on the Courts of Accounts’ inspection authority has restricted the ability of Parliament to monitor the expenses of public institutions on behalf of the public. We cannot talk about transparency at all in military spending in Turkey,” the writer of the report, Lale Kemal, told journalists at a conference held by TESEV.
The TESEV report examined the problems with the military expense inspection mechanism under the new Court of Accounts law that was implemented in August.
“Although there has been a lot of improvement in terms of ending the military domination regime in Turkey in recent years, the necessary legal steps to end the military domination regime in Turkey have not been taken sufficiently,” Kemal said.
According to the report, Turkish military spending has increased 7.4 percent in 2012, rising to 18.2 billion Turkish Liras.
“The arms bought by the Turkish Armed Forces are not controlled by Parliament or political will. However whether the purchased arms fulfill the real needs of the army needs to be questioned,” Kemal said.
“This change of law made by the ruling party has reversed even the previous law regarding the Court of Accounts,” she added.
Kemal also said that one of the reasons why the biggest army probes such as the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases had been opened was the lack of oversight of military expenses.
“In the indictments of those cases, there are allegations that some of the military expenses were made for illegal purposes,” Kemal added.
Kemal said as long as the military expenses in Turkey are hidden behind a veil of secrecy, a serious weakness in providing the stability and security will continue.
“For the interests of Turkey, the Turkish Grand Assembly has to use the authority that it has with the Court of Accounts for the inspection of the resources that are used for defense and security.”
“Balyoz” is the name of an alleged Turkish secularist military coup plan, against which a case was initiated on Dec. 16, 2010, with the first court hearing held in the courthouse at Silivri Prison.
A total of 331 of the 365 suspects were sentenced to prison terms in the case, while 34 suspects were acquitted. k HDN