Corruption watchdog calls for breaking Turkey’s impunity culture
HÜRRİYET photoTransparency International Turkey, along with a number of rights groups, called for reopening Turkey’s Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, corruption cases as well as lifting the immunity from punishment for four former ministers involved in the case, in an open letter addressed to 550 newly elected deputies of the June 7 parliamentary elections.
Voting against sending the four ministers, Egemen Bağış, Erdoğan Bayraktar, Zafer Çağlayan and Muammer Güler, to trial by the Constitutional Court, a special court to try top government officials, has eroded the public sentiment towards the rule of law, the security of law and fair trial, the Turkish office of the Transparency International, a global NGO fighting against corruption, said in a letter released on June 22 in collaboration with several rights groups and civil organizations.
They stressed the steps the newly elected deputies would make regarding the corruption cases would have vital importance in breaking the “impunity” culture and the justification concept in Turkey.
They demanded the deputies take the necessary steps to reopen the cases against the four former ministers and form an inquiry commission in parliament to follow the cases, as required by law.
Forming a parliamentary commission to reinvestigate the corruption charges against the four former ministers would be a solid step in repairing the public distrust of the rule of law in Turkey by justifying the principle of universal equality under law, they said.
They also called on the deputies to make necessary amendments on the law of political ethics, including the financing of politics and publicizing of asset declarations by deputies and top bureaucrats, in order to successfully fight corruption.