Turkey is a geostrategic country with high potential for economic growth; it is world’s 17th largest economy, a trade hub between east and west, north and south in its region, a promising land for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) but also with pitfalls in regulatory/business environment urgently calling for actions for levelling the playing field with actions on anti-corruption integrity, compliance, accountability and transparency. A recent EU Commission study on trade and investment potential in Turkey revealed also that Turkey suffers from business confidence on part of foreign investors due to regulatory issues.
Evidence from across the globe confirms that corruption hinders economic development, reduces social policies, and diverts investments in infrastructure, institutions and services. Corruption, therefore, reflects an economic, democracy, human rights and good governance deficit that negatively impacts human development and human security. It is therefore not surprising that in the increasingly globalized world order, there has been a constant demand – from international community, multilateral institutions, human rights organizations and regional security blocs to contain corruption to avoid further erosion of public institutions and exacerbation of poverty, reduce threats to sustainable human development, and avoid possible cross-sectoral spill over effects.
It became obvious that fight with corruption can only be effective with inclusion of the country’s private businesses. In this context, an effective anti-corruption strategy requires a detailed understanding of integrity risks of the market and local culture of doing business, a country’s governance, economic, and political environment.
In that respect, businesses can also increase ownership of, and demand for, anti-corruption initiatives. This, however, requires a holistic approach, well-trained professionals, coherent data on which assessments, and benchmarking can be based upon for sustainable results.
Effective anti-corruption strategies must include adequate mechanisms to address all possible sources and types of resistance. Therefore, a comprehensive “change management” process needs to be developed for the successful implementation of strategies on anti-corruption.
Different corruption measurement tools underline that public opinion defines corruption as a continuing and pervasive problem in the country. Turkey’s EU accession process along with its international requirements such as OECD, and UNCAC peer review are also instrumental in putting the importance of progress in anti-corruption.
For investors, Turkey has stable economy, qualified and competitive labour force, strategically located, energy corridor and terminal of Europe, a logistics hub between East and West, low taxes and incentives, customs union wıth the EU since 1996, large domestic market. The only barrier is seen as the investment climate and unfair competition as a result of corruption
Much of the material, from both academic and external agencies’ reviews, note that Turkey has substantial legal and institutional means to address corruption. Core question is efficiency of the existing means and the level in which they are accepted and embraced by businesses.
Within this framework, this Project addresses the needs and possible actions to be taken for effectively managing integrity risks, and fighting with corruption in the private sector while enhancing the potential to catch up with sustainable international standards.
“Turkish Integrity Center of Excellence is supported by Siemens Integrity Initiative.”