Turkish Deputy PM partially acknowledges nepotism in gov't

Turkish Deputy PM partially acknowledges nepotism in gov't

Turkish Deputy PM partially acknowledges nepotism in govt

Deputy PM Bülent Arınç (2R) revealed that some ministers had proposed positions for his son. AA Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç failed to completely deny recent claims that hundreds of relatives and friends of Cabinet members and ruling party lawmakers have been appointed to government positions without passing the required public personnel examination.

Abuse of public office and nepotism has recently become yet another matter of bitter controversy, after Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Haluk Koç disclosed a list of hundreds of relatives and friends of Cabinet members and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers who have been appointed to state positions without passing the required exam.

“There are a lot of names. I cannot say that all of these are not accurate. There are lies, but some are accurate,” Arınç said on Dec. 11, while addressing a General Assembly session of Parliament during ongoing deliberations on the 2015 Central Governance Budget Law.

“But, friends, it is not right to make a collective accusation,” he added.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, speaking during the same session, challenged counterarguments from AKP executives suggesting that he had shown favoritism to certain people when he served as the head of the Social Security Authority (SSK).

“Let them prove that even one person was assigned [to a position] despite failing the exam; then I will offer an apology for my service as the director-general at the time. Additionally, I will also quit politics as the leader [of the CHP]; my position is that sharp and clear,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with private television channel HaberTürk late on Dec. 11.

“I’m not like them; I’m sharp, clear and frank,” he added.

Speaking to Parliament, Arınç gave an example from his own life while touching on the question of favoritism. “I have a son. I will confess, some minister friends made a proposal to assign him to a position. But my son is of the same mind as me, he said ‘Dad, I will work in the private sector.’ He has been working in the private sector in the six years since then,” he said.

Koç, also the spokesperson for the CHP, listed the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK), the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and the Directorate of Overseas Turks under the Prime Ministry (YTB) among the institutions where inappropriate assignments were made in favor of relatives of the ruling party executives and deputies.

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 to the TİB as an expert 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 received a higher salary as a member of the Türk Telekom Executive Board; and Parliamentary 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 has begun to work at the state-run housing agency (TOKİ), 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 exam, he also claimed.