Turkish defense minister denies 'nepotism' allegations

Turkish defense minister denies 'nepotism' allegations

ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
Turkish defense minister denies nepotism allegations

AA Photo

Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has denied recent claims that his relative had been recruited by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) without completing an exam.

“The personnel mentioned applied for an internal transfer to the TİB after working as a public official for 20 years. When the TİB was founded, its regulations said 170 personnel could be taken via internal transfers from other public institutions. I wasn’t even a minister or politician at that time,” said Yılmaz.

Haluk Koç, spokesperson for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), claimed on Dec. 7 that hundreds of relatives and friends of Cabinet members and ruling party lawmakers had been appointed to government positions without passing the required public personnel examination.

One of Yılmaz’s distant relatives was placed in TİB as an expert, Koç also said.

The preferred institutions where these Justice and Development Party (AKP) relatives have been placed include the TİB, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK), the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and the Turks Abroad Directorate, the CHP spokesman added.

He cited the examples of Ömer Faruk Can, the brother of Fatih Can who was serving as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief of staff in the AKP, who was appointed as an expert to the TİB without an examination; a friend of Bilal Erdoğan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son, who was recently appointed to the TRT as deputy head and later became a member of the Türk Telekom Executive Board to receive a better salary; and Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek’s son, who was recently appointed to the EPDK after serving in various state institutions.

Koç also said Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek’s sister-in-law Esin Kara had just begun to work at the state-run housing agency (TOKI), although she was originally a geography teacher.

Interior Minister Efkan Ala’s sister and Deputy Interior Minister Osman Güneş’s daughter and son are among those who have been recently appointed to state institutions without taking the necessary examination, he also claimed.