Top Auditor Discharged After Reporting Corruption
A senior official at Turkey’s Court of Accounts, Fikret Coker, was dismissed from his position shortly after the top body issued 2017’s audit reports, which exposed over 700 million TL worth of corruption, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.
Coker, the vice president in charge of audits at the Court of Accounts, who had been serving since 1992, was replaced by Zekeriya Tuysuz, a member of the top court.
Last month’s audit report released by the Court of Accounts revealed a number of wrongdoings and illicit spending in government offices that took place in 2017.
The audit body issued another report last week regarding malpractices committed by municipal administrations run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Cumhuriyet pointed out that Coker was removed from his post on November 2, shortly after the reports in question.
Following the release of audit reports, a group of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) members filed a criminal complaint against the top officials at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB).
The complaints are based on the reports concluding that a total of 753 million TL worth of malpractice occured within government offices that operate under IBB.
The complaints were filed against a number of officials, including former Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, current Istanbul mayor Mevlut Uysal, head of Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI), Fatih Turan, Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management (IETT) director-general Arif Emecan and former IETT director-general Ahmet Bagis.
Canan Kaftancioglu, the chair of CHP’s Istanbul branch, made a press statement outside the Istanbul Caglayan courthouse, listing some highlights of the criminal complaint based on the audit reports:
– “In a lot of public tenders, estimated prices were calculated unrealistically high, causing the public financial loss.”
– “2,378 real estate belonging to IBB were used unlawfully, without rent income. Only 44 million TL of around 208 million TL rent was collected in 2017.”
– “A total of 140,179 families living on social support were granted a 147 million TL worth of aid card credits. However, these families were only able to use the card at nine grocery stores that have a deal with the government.”
Transparency International’s Turkey office has also called on prosecutors to take action in the face of Court of Accounts reports.
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— Transparency Int'lTR (@TransparencyTR) November 7, 2018