ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Security and defense expenditures have increased by 50 million liras over the first half of 2012, recent numbers by the Turkish Ministry of Finance show. Hürriyet photo
Yearly spending numbers from the Ministry of Finance show that spending from the secret fund has increased by 135 million Turkish Liras over last year.
Some 431 million liras were spent from the secret fund, appearing as “private service expenditure” in records, during the first six months of this year, Çiğdem Toker of daily Akşam reported. The current expenditure number recorded is 135 million liras more than the 296 million liras spent in the first half of last year.
The law authorizes access to the secret fund with the permission of the Prime Minister’s Office when it is “deemed necessary,” and access is primarily for Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The discretionary fund covers a great range of expenditures as it can be used for anything from confidential missions to retrieving cultural monuments overseas.
This all-encompassing definition in the law has prompted claims that these discretionary funds are being used to aid and support the opposition forces in Syria. But there are many possible reasons, including internal and foreign operations, for the significant rise in spending, the report says.
The Ministry of Finance’s records show significant changes in three other areas of spending: security and defense, weaponry and ammunition, and intelligence personnel. Security and defense
expenditures have increased by 50 million liras over the first half of last year, the report says. Security and defense expenses cover a large field of activity including counterterrorism efforts. Weaponry expenditures have decreased, while ammunition spending has increased to 8.5 times what it was last year, according to the report.
Intelligence personnel spending was 265.2 million liras for “every financial and social benefit and aid paid in cash to personnel employed by the MİT Undersecretariat,” an increase of 46.7 million from last year’s 216.5 million liras.
In the first six months of this year, spending for the “purchase of goods and services for security and defense” totaled 732.7 million liras, compared to last year’s 682 million. The expenditure for the “weaponry equipment and instruments” subsection of this area decreased. Some 202 million liras were spent in the January-June period of this year in contrast to 317.2 million in the same period last year.