’Social and institutional development faces difficult phase in Turkey’

The common man on the street in Turkey is often unaware of how a corrupt state affects human development, speakers from different backgrounds said in unison at an Istanbul panel session, alleging that the country lacks public demand for a transparent society.
The non-governmental Transparency International (TI) held a conference under the auspices of the British Consulate General in Istanbul titled and”The Effect of Transparency on the Societyand’s Ability to Create Economic and Intellectual Added Valueand” on Friday that drew a large audience from various fields, including private sector professionals and media personnel.
Ordinary citizens do not know what corruption is stealing from them, GandOnenandc Gandurkaynak, an international lawyer and an academic at Ankaraand’s Bilkent University, said, addressing the lack of healthy public information regarding the issue.
Journalist Kadri Gandursel meanwhile underlined the same point differently: and”The public has been experiencing a lack of consciousness, a dismal state that is spurred by the Turkish political culture.and”
The groupand’s remarks reinforced the notorious public perception growing over the past few years: and”They [the government] steal but also work,and” an explicit reference to both the economic transition of Turkey in the past decade and the sweeping corruption and bribery allegations that were brought to light by wide-scale investigations in December 2013.
Once the 2013 corruption probes implicated four cabinet ministers and several pro-government businesspeople, supporters of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in rural areas reportedly continued to back the AK Party even though they believe the allegations are true. Analysts often reasoned the trend was due to the fact that the AK Party government achieved a quick recovery from the economic crisis in 2001 although the economy has stagnated at the same level for the last seven years.
Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita surged from some $4,500 in 2002 to $10,000 in 2008 but has remained almost at the same level since then, leading to the assumption that the economy has been mired in a middle-income trap.
The economy has been growing but the slice pertaining to some spheres of the public in the prosperity pie has grown disproportionately, Gandursel further maintained, highlighting the growing income inequality. The AK Party has been at the center of criticism for its alleged support of a pro-government business cadre that has prospered by winning public tenders over the last decade.
The conference also revived the hot debates over the cost of Istanbuland’s controversial third airport.
and”If I ask everyone in the audience as well as [Turkish Industrialists and Businessmenand’s Association (TanduSiAD) head] Cansen Baiaran Yilmaz, [Turkeyand’s largest conglomerate Koandc Holding Chairman] Mustafa Koandc and five of his top executives to write down the investment cost of the ongoing third airport project, everyone would give a different figure,and” Gandurkaynak stated, referring to the vague statements made by state officials on the project which has sapped transparent management of public resources.
The conference was also attended by writer Ece Temelkuran and columnist Osman Ulagay.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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