Turkey’s G-20 summit spending under scrutiny

Turkey’s G-20 summit spending under scrutiny

Hacer Boyacıoğlu ANKARA
Turkey’s G-20 summit spending under scrutiny

Participants of 9th G-20 Leaders Summit in St Petersburg pose for a family photo on Sept 6,2013. Australia, which succeeded Russia as G-20 chair in 2014, will be succeeded by Turkey next year.

The government has moved to exempt spending on the G-20 summit, which will be hosted by Turkey in 2015, from regular public procurement procedures, sparking reactions from the opposition.

Turkey will assume the presidency of the G-20 in 2015 and the leaders of 20 major world economies will convene in the country in a summit in December. Based on the spending of 2014 host Australia, the cost of summit is expected to top $500 million.

The issue came onto agenda with the government’s attempt to remove purchases and construction works for the G-20 summit from the Public Procurement Law.

The government offered a regulation that will exempt G-20 purchases from the requirements of regular public procurement procedures as part of a comprehensive omnibus bill, in order to start budget works on the next two years of spending.

However, the exemption triggered heated debates at Parliament, with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies questioning the costs and plans.

‘Special needs’

In order to meet the opposition’s demand for an explanation, Foreign Ministry officials have revealed the details of works to be conducted for the G-20 summit organization for the first time.

One official said the summit preparations would require “a different organization process,” as it will require “fast decision making and a dynamic approach.”

“For example, it may be necessary to quickly procure a helicopter. In addition, there will be questions of ‘why did you give this to that company?’ Or perhaps 50 luxury cars will be purchased but only 40 will be needed at the last minute,” the official added.

Turkey will host the 10th leaders’ summit in December 2015, after taking over the presidency from Australia, which is the organizer of this year’s event that will take place on Nov. 9 in Brisbane.

G-20 summits host the leaders, finance ministers and central bank governors of member countries, which account for around 85 percent of gross world product (GWP) and two-thirds of the world population.