Turkey has taken five steps back and was ranked 101st among 180 countries with a score of 36 out of 100, the lowest in the past 10 years, in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Tuesday.
The CPI ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
According to the index, Turkey, which was ranked 96th in 2021 with a score of 38, has lost two points and was ranked the same as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Peru, Panama, Kazakhstan, Ecuador and Albania in 2022.
The country has dropped 48 places in the index since 2013, when it scored 50 points and was ranked 53rd, DW said.
Oya Özarslan, Transparency International’s Turkey representative, told DW that Turkey’s “downhill [trend]” was associated with the fact that there are no concrete steps being taken to fight corruption in the country.
She reminded that global money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Turkey on its grey list of countries under increased monitoring due to strategic deficiencies in their regimes to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in late 2021 and that the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption group, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), was routinely urging Turkey to implement its anti-corruption recommendations.
“We have problems in compliance with all the contracts we are party to. In other words, warnings are constantly coming from international institutions. The decline is because of this,” Özarslan said, adding that another reason for it was the situation of the press in Turkey.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), 90 percent of the national media in Turkey, which was ranked 149th among 180 countries in the RSF’s 2022 World Press Freedom Index, is owned by pro-government businessmen and toe the official line.
Transparency International’s study can be considered proof that the Turkey’s backsliding started in late 2013, when Turkey was shaken by two corruption investigations implicating then-prime minister and current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle.
Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government subsequently suppressed the corruption scandal by managing to control the judiciary by creating special criminal courts headed by a single judge, thanks to the AKP’s parliamentary majority.
These judges then jailed all the police and prosecutors who had conducted the 2013 corruption investigations, while Erdoğan and his family members who were implicated have never appeared in court.