23/10/14 – Turkey is a significant and geopolitically critical economy. Its companies, like those from many other countries, operate in corruption-prone sectors and countries. In spite of this, only 10 allegations have come to the attention of Turkish authorities since foreign bribery became an offence in Turkey in 2003. Turkey has opened investigations into only 6 of these allegations, 3 of which were closed. Turkey’s level of enforcement of its foreign bribery laws – with just a single prosecution leading to an acquittal in 11 years – is considerably low. The Working Group is therefore concerned that Turkey is insufficiently proactive in its enforcement efforts.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery has just completed its report on Turkey’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and related instruments. Recommendations to strengthen Turkey’s framework to combat foreign bribery include those to:
- Significantly increase efforts to proactively detect and investigate foreign bribery allegations;
- Enforce its foreign bribery offence against companies, notably by fixing deficiencies in its corporate liability framework;
- Maintain the independence of prosecutors and ensure that concerns of a political nature do not affect foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions;
- Provide law enforcement with adequate resources and expertise to enforce foreign bribery laws; and
- Better protect whistleblowers in both the public and private sectors to encourage reporting of foreign bribery.
The report also highlighted positive aspects of Turkey’s efforts to fight foreign bribery. Turkey has improved the legal framework for its foreign bribery offence and has effectively cooperated in two foreign bribery investigations conducted by other Parties to the Convention. Further, Turkey’s tax administration is well poised to assist in the detection of foreign bribery. Turkey has also significantly raised its awareness-raising activities targeting judges and prosecutors.
The Working Group on Bribery – made up of 34 OECD Member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Latvia, Russia and South Africa – adopted Turkey’s report in its third phase of monitoring implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
The report, made available at www.oecd.org/daf/nocorruption, lists all of the recommendations of the Working Group on pages 60-65, and includes an overview of recent enforcement actions and specific legal policy and institutional features of Turkey’s framework for fighting foreign bribery. The report recommends that Turkey report back to the Working Group in one year on certain key recommendations. As with other Working Group members, Turkey will submit a written report to the Working Group within two years on steps taken to implement all Phase 3 recommendations. This two-year report will be made publicly available.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Lynn Robertson, OECD Anti-Corruption Division Counsellor ([email protected], + (33) 1 45 24 18 77) or Spencer Wilson, OECD Media Division ([email protected], + (33) 1 45 24 81 18).
For more information on OECD’s work to fight corruption, please visit www.oecd.org/daf/nocorruption.