Cablegate: Turkish Implementation of Oecd Bribery Convention

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 79413

1. (U) SUMMARY: The GOT Parliament ratified the OECD Bribery
Convention in 2000, but did not ratify the implementing
legislation until January 2, 2003. This makes Turkey the
last of the 35 signatories to the Convention to ratify laws
that make it a crime to bribe foreign officials in
international business transactions. In line with the
provisions of the Convention, Parliament has amended the
Turkish penal code and expanded the scope of laws that
previously dealt with bribery of domestic officials. END

Enforcement of Convention

2. (U) GOT officials claim that there has not been enough
time to assess enforcement of the law (see below for
specifics of new law), as this law has yet to apply to any
cases at the prosecution stage.

3. (U) The GOT's resources for enforcement include the
Justice Ministry, which has responsibility for investigating
and prosecuting bribery cases (Justice will work with MASAK
in cases of bribery of foreign officials - see below). The
Turkish National Police (TNP) and Jandarma, which both fall
under the Interior Ministry, investigate bribery cases under
the guidance of prosecutors in the Ministry of Justice. In
addition, the Prime Ministry Inspection Board (PMIB)
investigates domestic corruption cases, and is currently
advising a new Parliamentary committee. Bulent Tarhan, of
the PMIB, is one of several experts who are advising the
recently established Corruption Investigations Committee,
which has two primary functions: investigating corruption
cases through public hearings and also studying the
underlying reasons behind corruption, based on analysis of
PMIB and other authorities' investigations over the past five

Implementing Legislation

4. (U) Law number 4782, passed January 2, 2003, effectively
ratified the necessary implementation required of the GOT
under the OECD Bribery Convention, which the GOT became party
to in 2000. This law provides several amendments/additions
to the Turkish Penal Code. Specifically, amendments were
made to the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering, the Law on
Controlling Narcotics Substances, the Civil Service Law and
the decree with the force of law on the Organizational
Structure and Duties of the Finance Ministry. The following
amendments/additions were made:

-There is a bribery case if there is an attempt or a
commitment to provide benefits to the individuals appointed
as legislative, administrative or judicial government
authorities in a foreign country or to officials conducting
international duties in a host country to provide certain
services or to prevent provision of services.

-If the representatives of a corporate body are involved in
bribery, both the representatives and the corporate body
itself will be required to pay a cash penalty, as high as two
to threefold of the benefit received. Individuals repeatedly
conducting anti-bribery crimes will be discharged from their
duties and cannot work as GOT contractors.

-The GOT can file a new bribery lawsuit against an individual
upon the Justice Ministry's order, even if there is an
existing court verdict regarding bribery of this individual
in a foreign country. The GOT will not file a new lawsuit
against an individual if there is a former verdict regarding
this person's involvement in crimes related to counterfeiting
foreign currency.

-With the amendment to the Law on Prevention of Money
Laundering, bribery of foreign officials in host country or
bribery of foreign officials in a foreign country were
defined as predicate offenses for money laundering.

5. (U) These amendments expand the authority of MASAK
(Financial Crimes Investigation Board), the GOT's financial
intelligence unit (FIU) that has primary responsibility for
crimes associated with money laundering. "This legislation
gives the ability to create the necessary framework for
cooperation between FIUs for all cooperation more broadly,"
said Oya Karakas, of MFA's General Directorate of
Multilateral Economic Affairs.

Promoting Public Awareness

6. (U) The GOT has yet to promote public awareness of the new
legislation, although plans are in the works. Karakas said
the MFA plans to set up an international workshop of OECD
members, and representatives from Central Asian countries, to
promote anti-corruption measures that have been taken.
Karakas said a date has not been set yet, but the location
will be the OECD Regional Center in Istanbul. In addition,
Karakas says the MFA plans to take advantage of a library
that is physically located between and shared by the OECD
Regional Center and the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. She
said the OECD is working to establish an e-library that can
be used for research of anti-corruption activities undertaken
by OECD members.

Related Anti-Corruption Activities
7. (U) Representatives from local NGOs had little comment on
the GOT measures related to the new law. However,
representatives from the Turkish chapter of Transparency
International remain concerned about GOT attempts to amend
the Public Procurement Law, which established a board to
oversee public tenders (an important condition in the
IMF-supported reform program). Earlier this year, the GOT
proposed two articles to a new draft law designed to revise
the tax forgiveness law, and give substantial savings to
companies close to the new government. This GOT effort has
been defeated, at least for the time being, by pressure from
the IMF, World Bank, USG, and NGOs such as Transparency

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