Turkey has been warned of its failure to effectively implement key aspects of the Anti-Bribery Convention despite repeated calls for action since October 2014.
The warning comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery.
The organization has advised Turkey to enforce its foreign bribery laws. In a press statement released on Thursday, OECD has indicated there may be a high-level mission to Ankara next year unless Turkey takes tangible measures to strengthen its foreign bribery enforcement framework by October 2019.
The Working Group revealed the decision has been taken since Turkey has failed to reform the laws on the liability of legal persons for the bribery of foreign public officials, an aspect the OECD has demanded for quite some time.
Turkey has also been asked to strengthen its corporate liability framework by clearly covering state-owned and state-controlled enterprises. Ankara has also been told to further restructure its sanctions for legal persons to make them more effective, balanced and deterrent.
The Working Group also voiced its concerns about Turkey’s practically non-existent foreign bribery enforcement as not even a single conviction has been given since Turkey ratified the Convention in January 2003.
Turkey is also cautioned about possible impacts of certain considerations regarding national economic interest, bilateral relations and identity of persons involved on foreign bribery investigations and prosecutions.
The OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions is a legally binding international accord in which all parties agree “to establish the bribery of foreign public officials as a criminal offense under their laws and to investigate, prosecute and sanction this offense.”
The OECD’s Working Group on Bribery monitors countries’ compliance with the Convention. To monitor implementation and enforcement of the convention, the Working Group uses a peer-review process in which panels with civil society and the private sector are held during mandatory on-site visits to the country under evaluation. Countries under evaluation cannot block the findings or recommendations in the reviews.
Turkey signed the Anti-Bribery Convention with other 28 member and 5 non-OECD countries on 17 December 1997.