Loose stance on corruption would be problem for AKP: Babacan
DHA photoThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) has made solid steps to fight against corruption, former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has claimed in an interview with private broadcaster NTV, saying that if it did not do so it would become a sustainability issue for the party.
“If you name a party ‘AK Parti’ but fail to fight against corruption, then this would cause a sustainability issue for the party,” Babacan said on Oct. 7, referring to the fact that “ak” can mean “white” or “clean” in Turkish.
Almost two years after the AKP was embroiled in a sprawling corruption scandal implicating the sons of former ministers, Babacan said the AKP had made solid steps but still had problems fighting corruption.
He added that the AKP announced a comprehensive manifesto before the June 7 election, but failed to elaborate on its promises to tackle corruption.
“Corruption prevails in every country. But we must take action to put Turkey on the list of countries with fewer corruption cases,” Babacan said, emphasizing that all those who were implicated in activities that do not comply with the law should be punished.
“Those who do not comply with the law should be punished. What does the AK Parti mean? ‘Ak’ means white and flawless. If you name a party ‘ak’ but fail to have a staunch stance against corruption then transparency would be a sustainability issue for the party,” he added.
In December 2013 the sons of four former AKP ministers, Egemen Bağış, Muammer Güler, Zafer Çağlayan and Erdoğan Bayraktar, were implicated in the huge corruption probe that sent shockwaves through Turkey.
The investigation was subsequently quashed by the AKP, which claimed it was part of a “coup attempt” by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, an ally-turned-foe of the government.
Speaking to NTV, Babacan also touched on issues of “justice and education” in Turkey during the AKP’s 13-year-rule, admitting that the two “could have been worked on better.”
“Things haven’t gone well with justice,” he said, stressing that a country with an “interrupted concept of law” would not be able to attract crucial foreign investments.