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EU Supports Prevention of Corruption in Turkey



When it comes to good governance and transparency, one of the EU's priorities in Turkey lies on improving corruption prevention. The EU's main partner in this important work is the Council of Ethics for Public Officials, a body affiliated to the Turkish Prime Ministry. 

Turkey set up a Council of Ethics for Public Service in 2004 and adopted a Code of Ethics for Public Officials in the following year. The Council is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this Code. Ethics commissions established in ministries evaluate institutional actions and practices from an ethical point of view and make recommendations. Through the project on "Consolidating Ethics in the Public Sector", the EU aimed to strengthen the implementation and dissemination of the Code of Ethics across the public sector. The project provided training for the staff of the Council of Ethics and members of the ethics commissions and also extended the pool of experts in this field. The €1.2 million EU-funded project has been carried out in cooperation with the Council of Europe.

One of the most important outputs of the project has been the drafting of a code of ethics for state universities and professional associations. The current Code excludes elected officials, members of the judiciary, military and academia from the public officials covered. Now the code also extends to these target groups. This wouldn't have been possible without the intensive awareness campaign that the project ran in ministries, schools and universities and among the general public, with the close involvement of NGOs and the media. Another very crucial achievement is the establishment of an Ethics Platform, involving 11 public institutions and civil society organisations as key stakeholders in the field.