Turkey

   

Executive Accountability

#41
Key Findings
With oversight mechanisms having been significantly weakened in recent years, Turkey takes the SGI 2020’s bottom spot (rank 41) with regard to executive accountability. Its score on this measure has declined by 1.3 points relative to 2014.

The government often fails to publicize policy plans before implementation. Media freedoms have been badly undermined, journalists have been imprisoned and threatened, and the largest media organization was sold to a pro-government media conglomerate in 2018. These factors make it difficult for citizens to find objective and substantive information on government policies and decision-making.

The new presidential system has centralized power in the hands of the executive and significantly undermined the parliament’s legislative and oversight functions. The audit court reports to parliament but is not accountable to it. A recently created ombuds office has seen a low level of compliance with its decisions. A data-protection authority is newly operational.

Parties are centralized. Economic-interest organizations develop proposals that the government claims to take under consideration. An ideological divide hampers cooperation between secular and Islamic trade unions. The government has excluded opponents from decision-making processes, and created a network of loyal civil society groups.

Citizens’ Participatory Competence

#37

To what extent are citizens informed of public policies?

10
 9

Most citizens are well-informed of a broad range of public policies.
 8
 7
 6


Many citizens are well-informed of individual public policies.
 5
 4
 3


Few citizens are well-informed of public policies; most citizens have only a rudimental knowledge of public policies.
 2
 1

Most citizens are not aware of public policies.
Political Knowledge
4
Except for the Ministry of Finance and the central bank, the government generally does not adequately inform citizens about the content and development of government policy. The head of government, ministers and high government officials highlight success stories and policies, but do not offer follow-up details. There are few surveys that review how citizens get information on government policy, it is evident that policymaking in Turkey is not transparent or participatory.

The government follows a selective approach defined by perception management when it comes to informing citizens about governmental processes. Although citizens in Turkey do reflect critically on politics in general, they often learn of policies only after implementation has begun. Policy plans are kept largely secret or are subject to last-minute changes, and the parliament’s tendency to pass important measures as a part of an omnibus of legislative packages has been increasingly criticized, because it confuses the public. The annual activity reports issued by public institutions provide only data on policy achievements. A recent report on governance in Istanbul’s municipalities indicated that municipalities do not provide stakeholders with sufficient information on decision-making processes.

Social media can facilitate input-output and implementation and feedback in governmental processes. However, the accessibility and reliability of social media is a major obstacle. In 2018, the number of broadband internet subscribers reached 71.8 million and mobile broadband penetration significantly increased to 73.1%, though it is still below the OECD average of 102.4%. Moreover, the recent restrictions and bans placed on social media and its limited presence make it ineffective in disseminating policy information.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

T. Gülaslan, Kamu Yönetiminde Sosyal Medya Kullanımı ve Yönetimi: Temel İlkeler ve Öneriler, Phd Dissertation, Hacettepe University, Ankara, 2018.

Bilal Alat, “Türkiye’de İl Belediye Web Sitelerinin İşlevselliği Üzerine Bir Araştırma,” Fırat Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 28(1), 2018: 93-114.

Belediye Yönetişim Karnesi, http://belediyekarnesi.argudenacademy.org/docs/Arguden-Akademi_Belediye-Yonetisim-Karnesi.pdf, (accesssed 27 October 2018)

Digital in 2018: Global Overview, https://hootsuite.com/pages/digital-in-2018 (accessed 1 November 2018)

Does the government publish data and information in a way that strengthens citizens’ capacity to hold the government accountable?

10
 9

The government publishes data and information in a comprehensive, timely and user-friendly way.
 8
 7
 6


The government most of the time publishes data and information in a comprehensive, timely and user-friendly way.
 5
 4
 3


The government publishes data in a limited and not timely or user-friendly way.
 2
 1

The government publishes (almost) no relevant data.
Open Government
4
Turkey is moderately prepared for public administration reform and demonstrates a strong commitment to a more open administration and the use of e-government. However, there has been serious backsliding in the areas of public service provision, human resource management, and accountability (e.g., with regard to the right to administrative justice and the right to seek compensation). A transparent and effective response still needs to be provided for the large-scale dismissals of public sector employees.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee designated the government of Turkey as inactive in OGP on 21 September 2016. Due to Turkey’s failure to meet the requirements, Turkey’s participation in the OGP ended in September 2017. As part of its fight against corruption, Turkey prepared an Action Plan 2012 – 2013 that included launching four web portals (i.e., for transparency, expenditure, electronic procurement and regulations), identifying areas at risk of corruption, developing relevant measures, minimizing bureaucratic obstacles, and promoting integrity, transparency and accountability.

A 2019 European Commission report stressed that while Turkey has made progress in the standardization of data collection and achieving EU acquis alignment in many sectors (e.g., business, labor, education), it must improve coordination between TurkStat (TÜİK) and other data providers and improve the quality and use of administrative records. Turkey’s capacity for data collection and analysis is being strengthened through projects funded under IPA. However, TurkStat’s professional independence is questionable in the wake of a presidential decree adopted in July 2018 that cut the mandate of TurkStat’s president and changed the appointment procedures of senior officials.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Open Government Partnership, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/turkey-withdrawn (accessed 27 October 2018)

World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index 2019, https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/ROLI-2019-Reduced.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

2017 Açık Hükümet Verilerinin Nihai Durum Raporu, http://www.verigazeteciligi.com/2017-acik-hukumet-verilerinin-nihai-durum-raporu-turkce/ (accessed 1 November 2019)

Legislative Actors’ Resources

#40

Do members of parliament have adequate personnel and structural resources to monitor government activity effectively?

10
 9

The members of parliament as a group can draw on a set of resources suited for monitoring all government activity effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The members of parliament as a group can draw on a set of resources suited for monitoring a government’s major activities.
 5
 4
 3


The members of parliament as a group can draw on a set of resources suited for selectively monitoring some government activities.
 2
 1

The resources provided to the members of parliament are not suited for any effective monitoring of the government.
Parliamentary Resources
5
The administrative organization of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) consists of departments that support the Speaker’s Office. The conditions of appointment of the administrators and officers are regulated by law (Law 6253, 1 December 2011). The administrative organization (including the research services department and the library and archives services department) is responsible for providing information as well as bureaucratic and technical support to the plenary, the bureau, committees, party groups and deputies; informing committees about bills and other legislative documents and assisting in the preparation of committee reports; preparing draft bills in accordance with deputy requests; providing information and documents to committees and deputies; coordinating relations and legislative information between the Assembly and the general secretary of the president, the Prime Minister’s Office and other public institutions; organizing relations with the media and public; and providing documentation, archive, and publishing services (Article 3, Law 6253). Although the budget of the Assembly is part of the annual state budget, it is debated and voted on as a separate spending unit. The Assembly prepares its own budget without negotiation or consultation with the government; yet, it does follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Finance.

The new presidential system has centralized power in the hands of the executive and significantly undermined the parliament’s legislative and oversight functions. Since the 2018 general elections, parliament has been dominated by a bloc consisting of President Erdogan’s AKP and its de facto coalition partner, the MHP. Since July 2018, parliament has adopted 24 pieces of legislation, mostly presidential decrees and controversial changes to its rules of procedure. Voting largely follows the governmental bloc-opposition divisions, but on issues of “national pride,” opposition parties will vote in line with the AKP-MHP bloc.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Ö.F. Gençkaya, “The Grand National Assembly of Turkey: A Decline in Legislative Capacity,” I. Khmelko et al (eds) Legislative Decline in the 21st Century, Routledge (fortcoming).

26. Dönem, 1, 2 ve 3. Yasama Yılı, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/komisyon/insanhaklari/faaliyet_raporlari_26.htm (accessed 1 November 2018) “TBMM personel alımı başvuru sonuçları açıklandı!” 15 November 2017, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/tbmm-personel-alimi-basvuru-sonuclari-aciklandi-40646332 (accessed 1 November 2017)

Are parliamentary committees able to ask for government documents?

10
 9

Parliamentary committees may ask for most or all government documents; they are normally delivered in full and within an appropriate time frame.
 8
 7
 6


The rights of parliamentary committees to ask for government documents are slightly limited; some important documents are not delivered or are delivered incomplete or arrive too late to enable the committee to react appropriately.
 5
 4
 3


The rights of parliamentary committees to ask for government documents are considerably limited; most important documents are not delivered or delivered incomplete or arrive too late to enable the committee to react appropriately.
 2
 1

Parliamentary committees may not request government documents.
Obtaining Documents
5
According to the Rules of Procedure (Article 62), the speakership of the TBMM may invite the vice-president, ministers and deputy-ministers, and senior public officials to provide information at the plenary, as described by Article 119 of the constitution (state of emergency). Parliamentary commissions may directly communicate with any ministry and request information from a ministry relevant to the commission’s work (Article 41). However, there is no available data for all parliamentary committees on how frequently they request such information – orally or in writing.

Following the failed July 15 coup d’etat, the chairman of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Investigation Commission on the Coup d’etat, an AKP member, withheld government information and documents from the opposition parties. The request by CHP members of the commission to transmit all the information and documents to them was rejected on the grounds of confidentiality.

Citations:
Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/ictuzuk.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)

Ş. İba, Parlamento Hukuku, Ankara: Turhan Yayınevi, 2017.

Ö.F. Gençkaya, “The Grand National Assembly of Turkey: A Decline in Legislative Capacity,” I. Khmelko et al (eds) Legislative Decline in the 21st Century, Routledge (fortcoming).

“Darbe Komisyonu’nda bir skandal daha… AKP belgeleri sakladı,” Cumhuriyet dailynews, 22 December 2017, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/siyaset/890970/Darbe_Komisyonu_nda_bir_skandal_daha…_AKP_belgeleri_sakladi.html (accessed 1 November 2019)

Are parliamentary committees able to summon ministers for hearings?

10
 9

Parliamentary committees may summon ministers. Ministers regularly follow invitations and are obliged to answer questions.
 8
 7
 6


The rights of parliamentary committees to summon ministers are slightly limited; ministers occasionally refuse to follow invitations or to answer questions.
 5
 4
 3


The rights of parliamentary committees to summon ministers are considerably limited; ministers frequently refuse to follow invitations or to answer questions.
 2
 1

Parliamentary committees may not summon ministers.
Summoning Ministers
4
Ministers can attend committee meetings as a representative of the government without invitation, and may talk on the subject matter at hand (Rules of Procedure, Article 29, 30 and 31). However, ministers may also delegate a senior civil servant to be his or her representative at a committee meeting. If relevant, the committee may ask a minister to explain a government position, but he or she is not required to comply with this invitation if there is no legal obligation (Article 62). While parliamentary committees are not able to summon ministers for hearings, the responsible minister may voluntarily decide to participate in a meeting. Normally, the committees are briefed by high-ranking ministerial bureaucrats. In the new presidential system, the ministers will always be present at the Planning and Budget Committee when the previous year’s final accounts and following year’s draft budget are discussed. They also attend the budgetary debates in the plenary.

During the review period, the effects of the state of emergency, corruption scandals, mayoral resignations, economic instability and regional affairs (e.g., Turkey’s involvement in the war in Syria, the massive movement of refugees from neighboring countries into Turkey, and Kurdish developments in and outside of Turkey) were highly visible. None of the government’s senior executives took responsibility for or allowed for an independent parliamentary investigation into these issues. Instead, the government – including the president as both head of the executive and chairman of the governing party – demonstrated a lack of accountability vis-à-vis parliament.

Citations:
Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/ictuzuk.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)
TBMM Faaliyet Raporu, 26. Dönem, 1, 2 ve 3. Yasama Yılı, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/komisyon/insanhaklari/faaliyet_raporlari_26.htm (accessed 1 November 2018)

Are parliamentary committees able to summon experts for committee meetings?

10
 9

Parliamentary committees may summon experts.
 8
 7
 6


The rights of parliamentary committees to summon experts are slightly limited.
 5
 4
 3


The rights of parliamentary committees to summon experts are considerably limited.
 2
 1

Parliamentary committees may not summon experts.
Summoning Experts
6
According to the parliamentary rules of procedure, committees are legally able to summon experts from non-governmental organizations, universities or the bureaucracy to provide testimony without limitation (Rules of Procedure, Article 29 and 30). There is no available data about summoning experts by the parliamentary committees since the 2018 general elections.

Citations:
Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/ictuzuk.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)

26. Dönem, 1, 2 ve 3. Yasama Yılı, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/komisyon/insanhaklari/faaliyet_raporlari_26.htm (accessed 1 November 2018)

Ö.F. Gençkaya, “The Grand National Assembly of Turkey: A Decline in Legislative Capacity,” I. Khmelko et al (eds) Legislative Decline in the 21st Century, Routledge (fortcoming).

Are the task areas and structures of parliamentary committees suited to monitor ministries effectively?

10
 9

The match between the task areas of parliamentary committees and ministries as well as other relevant committee structures are well-suited to the effective monitoring of ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The match/mismatch between the task areas of parliamentary committees and ministries as well as other relevant committee structures are largely suited to the monitoring ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The match/mismatch between the task areas of parliamentary committees and ministries as well as other relevant committee structures are partially suited to the monitoring of ministries.
 2
 1

The match/mismatch between the task areas of parliamentary committees and ministries as well as other relevant committee structures are not at all suited to the monitoring of ministries.
Task Area Congruence
5
Under the new governmental system following the April 2017 referendum on the introduction of presidentialism, the number of ministries has been reduced to 16. Advocates of the new system argue that the system would run more efficiently. However, the alignment of ministries (or rather the presidency and its new executive structure) and parliamentary committees is likely to create frictions in policymaking. Since June 2018, parliamentary standing committees have completed the deliberation of 48 out of 2,660 bills submitted. This suggests a lack of effective monitoring on the part of the committees.

There are 18 standing committees in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), which are generally established in parallel with structure of the ministries. The most recent such committee, the Security and Intelligence Commission, was established in spring 2014. Except for committees established by special laws, the jurisdiction of each committee is not expressly defined by the Rules of Procedure. Some committees have overlapping tasks. Committees do not independently monitor ministry activity but do examine draft bills. During discussions, committees may also supervise the ministry activity indirectly. The State Economic Enterprises Commission does not audit ministries but plays an important role in monitoring developments within their administration. The distribution of the workload of these committees is uneven. The Planning and Budget Commission is the most overloaded group, as every bill possesses some financial aspect. Except few, professionalization among committee members is low. Neither the Strategic Plan nor the Activity Reports of the TBMM emphasize the need to implement effective ministerial monitoring. These committees recently stated their intent to recruit more qualified personnel in certain areas.

Citations:
Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/ictuzuk.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)

Ş. İba, Parlamento Hukuku, Ankara: Turhan Yayınevi, 2017.

26. Dönem, 1, 2 ve 3. Yasama Yılı, https://www.tbmm.gov.tr/komisyon/insanhaklari/faaliyet_raporlari_26.htm (accessed 1 November 2018)

Ö.F. Gençkaya, “The Grand National Assembly of Turkey: A Decline in Legislative Capacity,” I. Khmelko et al (eds) Legislative Decline in the 21st Century, Routledge (fortcoming).

Media

#41

To what extent do media in your country analyze the rationale and impact of public policies?

10
 9

A clear majority of mass media brands focus on high-quality information content analyzing the rationale and impact of public policies.
 8
 7
 6


About one-half of the mass media brands focus on high-quality information content analyzing the rationale and impact of public policies. The rest produces a mix of infotainment and quality information content.
 5
 4
 3


A clear minority of mass media brands focuses on high-quality information content analyzing public policies. Several mass media brands produce superficial infotainment content only.
 2
 1

All mass media brands are dominated by superficial infotainment content.
Media Reporting
2
Media freedoms deteriorated significantly after the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016. Numerous journalists were imprisoned without indictment, which had an intimidating effect on other journalists. In consequence, it is difficult for citizens to find objective or substantive in-depth information on government policies and government decision-making. In the aftermath of the early presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018, the pluralistic structure of Turkey’s media was fatally undermined by the sale of Doğan Media, a powerful mainstream media outlet, to Demirören media, a pro-government media conglomerate in early 2018. A media-ownership structure based on industrial conglomerates (the so-called Mediterranean or polarized pluralist media model), the government’s clear-cut differentiation between pro- and anti-government media, and the increasingly polarized public discourse make it difficult for journalists to provide substantial information to the public. News coverage and debates are mainly one-sided in the pro-government media, while self-censorship is common in the mainstream, neutral media. Media ownership, and direct and indirect government intervention in private media outlets and journalism obscure the objective analyses of government policies. Thus, few newspapers, radio or TV stations offer in-depth analysis of government policies or their effects concerning human rights, the Kurdish issues, economic conditions and so on.

The so-called fake news have been at the center of political debates in Turkey since the new presidential system was put into force in 2018. As a result, the fact-checking organizations such as Teyit.org and Doğruluk Payı play a significant role in this context. According to a survey conducted for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report,
49% of respondents stated that they have come across “stories that are completely made up for political or commercial reasons.” Turkey is clearly in the lead on this whereas the average across all 37 countries is 26%.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Reporters Without Borders, 2019 World Press Freedom Index, https://rsf.org/en/ranking (accessed 1 November 2018)

Freedom House, Freedom on the Net 2018: The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2018/rise-digital-author itarianism (accessed 1 November 2018)

N. Newman and et al., Reuters Institute Digital News Reports 2019, https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2019-06/DNR_2019_ FINAL_0.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Media Ownership Monitor 2019, https://turkey.mom-rsf.org/tr/ (accessed 1 November 2019)

S. Yanatma, Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018 Turkey Supplementary Report, https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-11/Digital%20News%20Report%20-%20Turkey%20Supplement%202018%20FINAL.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Parties and Interest Associations

#41

How inclusive and open are the major parties in their internal decision-making processes?

10
 9

The party allows all party members and supporters to participate in its decisions on the most important personnel and issues. Lists of candidates and agendas of issues are open.
 8
 7
 6


The party restricts decision-making to party members. In most cases, all party members have the opportunity to participate in decisions on the most important personnel and issues. Lists of candidates and issue agendas are rather open.
 5
 4
 3


The party restricts decision-making to party members. In most cases, a number of elected delegates participate in decisions on the most important personnel and issues. Lists of candidates and issue agendas are largely controlled by the party leadership.
 2
 1

A number of party leaders participate in decisions on the most important personnel and issues. Lists of candidates and issue agendas are fully controlled and drafted by the party leadership.
Intra-party Decision-Making
2
The centralized structure of the Political Parties Law (Law 2820) and the bylaws of the major parties does not encourage intra-party democracy. The right to dismiss local party organizations (Articles 19 and 20) and party members (Article 53), which is widespread among the major political parties, provides party leaders with unlimited powers and thus undermines internal party democracy. Although the dismissals are subject to judicial review (Article 57) no information is available about the judicial trials on these appeals. Consequently, strong party discipline is a common feature of all political parties. Although the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) do not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or religious orientation with regard to membership, contestation within the parties is limited, at best. Dissenting voices are generally unable to find an institutional path by which to engage in effective debate. Competition usually revolves around party members’ ability to create local power centers through which they compete for the attention and goodwill of the party leader.

Membership, party congresses and executive boards are not democratically managed in most political parties. Nomination processes are dominated by a few party elites or directly by the will of party leaders. Those who dissent are effectively silenced or expected to leave the party. Following the AKP’s 2019 losses in some municipal elections, some of the party’s leading members, including former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, former state Minister Ali Babacan and some current deputies, resigned from the party after disciplinary proceedings were introduced against them. The CHP introduced some amendments to its party statute that will enable the party assembly to delegate the selection of candidates to the central executive committee.

Citations:
“Eski AKP’liler: Pek çok arkadaşımız istifaya hazırlanıyor,” 27 September 2019, https://www.dw.com/tr/eski-akpliler-pek-%C3%A7ok-arkada%C5%9F%C4%B1m%C4%B1z-istifaya-haz%C4%B1rlan%C4%B1yor/a-50616101 (accessed 1 November 2019)

“CHP’de yönetmelik değişikliği: PM aday belirleme yetkisini MYK’ye devredebilecek,” 4 September 2019, https://www.birgun.net/haber/chp-de-yonetmelik-degisikligi-pm-aday-belirleme-yetkisini-myk-ye-devredebilecek-267223 (accessed 1 November 2019)

C. Erdoğan, CHP (1919-2018) İdeoloji-Örgütsel Yapı Parti İçi Demokrasi ve Oligarşi, Sokak Kitapları Yayınları, 2018.

To what extent are economic interest associations (e.g., employers, industry, labor) capable of formulating relevant policies?

10
 9

Most interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 8
 7
 6


Many interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 5
 4
 3


Few interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 2
 1

Most interest associations are not capable of formulating relevant policies.
Association Competence (Employers & Unions)
5
The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) is the most influential business association in Turkey, representing more than 1.2 million enterprises and members of various industry and business chambers. The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), affiliated with TOBB University in Ankara, provides extensive surveys in various fields. The pro-Western, Istanbul-centric Turkish Industrialists’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association (TÜSİAD) and the conservative, Anatolian-centric Independent Industrialists’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association (MÜSİAD), also have R&D units and sponsor reports on political reforms, education, healthcare, security and migration. The degree of direct impact of such proposals and amendments on legislation is unknown, but the government regularly claims to take such reports under consideration.

Among labor unions, the ideological split between secular unions such as the Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) and the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) and the more conservative-Islamic Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-İş) tends to prevent common action. Trade unions and civil society representatives participated in drafting Law No. 6356 on trade unions, although the final output was ultimately determined by the government. Moreover, it has become increasingly obvious over the last decade that religiosity has become a strategic resource in creating solidarity among union members, and in bolstering loyalty to the government. Turkey’s oldest trade union, Türk-İş, has for many years prepared monthly surveys on hunger and poverty thresholds and is included in the collective bargaining process.

Citations:
Türk-İş, Açlık Yoksulluk http://www.turkis.org.tr/Aclik-Yoksulluk-k91 (accessed 1 November 2019)

Dik-Ar, http://disk.org.tr/category/diskten/disk-ar/ (accessed 1 November 2019)

A. Şahin and A. Söylemez, “Sendikalara Yönelik Politikaların Belirlenmesinde Sendikaların Rolü ve 6356 Sayılı Sendikalar Kanunu,” Sosyal Ekonomik Araştırmalar Dergisi, 17, 2017: 135-144.

To what extent are non-economic interest associations capable of formulating relevant policies?

10
 9

Most interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 8
 7
 6


Many interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 5
 4
 3


Few interest associations are highly capable of formulating relevant policies.
 2
 1

Most interest associations are not capable of formulating relevant policies.
Association Competence (Others)
3
The number of noneconomic civil society organizations has increased in the last decade, indicating a growing degree of public engagement within many segments of Turkish society. As of November 2018, 109,864 associations with more than 7 million members were active. Most are professional, sport or religious organizations. A total of 5,208 foundations are active nationwide. Among others, TESEV, TESAV, TEPAV, SETAV, ASAM can be regarded as semi-professional think tanks which conduct research and publish reports on various policy issues. SETA is a very influential pro-government policy research organization.

Most civil society organizations are not professionally organized, and lack financial and human resources. The number of pro-government and pseudo-civil society organizations (i.e., GONGOs) benefiting from public and EU funding has increased recently. Several CSOs lack the staff, resources and visibility to carry out face-to-face fundraising. Turkey ranked 131 out of 146 countries in the 2018 World Giving Index. The government has excluded opponents from government decision-making processes. Instead, the government has created its own loyal civil society groups, such as TÜRGEV – a foundation led by President Erdoğan’s son, which has gained political influence in the executive and expanded its financial resources.

Local and global environmental pressure groups such as Greenpeace have increasingly demonstrated against dam and hydroelectric-energy projects throughout Turkey, but their protests are regularly suppressed by the security forces and subjected to criminal investigations. The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitat (TEMA) is the most established environmental organization in Turkey with 500,000 volunteers.

The Association for Support of Women Candidates (KA.DER) has for years promoted the equal representation of women and men in all walks of life. KA.DER sees equal representation as a condition for democracy and calls for equal representation in all elected and appointed decision-making positions. It conducts several EU- and UNDP-sponsored projects and advocates its objectives. A pro-government research establishment, SETA, conducts research projects on current political, economic and social issues with a view toward providing policy recommendations. Similarly, KADEM (Women and Democracy Association) was founded with the patronage of Erdoğan’s family members and is used as a social policy instrument.

The Oy ve Ötesi Girişimi (Vote and Beyond) initiative – in collaboration with the Unions of Bars of Turkey, several bars, and the Checks and Balances Network – monitors local and presidential elections. The Computer Engineers Association also made an analysis of ballot box results with regard to inconsistency of electoral results.

Citations:
TC Cumhurbaşkanlığı Strateji ve Bütçe Başkanlığı, 2018 Yılı Genel Faaliyet Raporu Haziran 2019, http://www.sbb.gov.tr/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2018-Genel-Faaliyet-Raporu.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

“Yıllara, Nevilere ve İllere Göre Dernek ve Üye Sayısı,” https://www.siviltoplum.gov.tr/yillara-nevilere-ve-illere-gore-dernek-ve-uye-sayisi (accessed 1 November 2019)

TC Başbakanlık Vakıflar Genel Müdürlüğü 2018 Faaliyet Raporu, https://cdn.vgm.gov.tr/genelicerik/genelicerik_216_260519/22018-yili-idare-faaliyet.pdf
(accessed 1 November 2019)

“Türkiye’deki Düşünce Kuruluşları,” http://insamer.com/tr/turkiyedeki-dusunce-kuruluslari_157.htm (accessed 1 November 2017)

CIVICUS, State of Civil Society Report 2016, http://civicus.org/documents/reports-and-publications/SOCS/2016/summaries/SoCS-full-review.pdf (accessed 1 November 2016)

Ka.Der, Projects, http://ka-der.org.tr/en/projects/ (accessed 1 November 2019)

“Sayıştay açıkladı, devletin kasasından 3.7 milyar lira kayıp!,” http://t24.com.tr/haber/sayistay-acikladi-devletin-kasasindan-37-milyar-lira-kayip,716145 (accessed 1 November 2018)

Ç. Toker, “İBB’den vakıflara’hizmet’ raporu,” Sözcü daily newspaper, 28 January 2019, https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2019/yazarlar/cigdem-toker/ibbden-vakiflara-hizmet-raporu-3288303/

Independent Supervisory Bodies

#41

Does there exist an independent and effective audit office?

10
 9

There exists an effective and independent audit office.
 8
 7
 6


There exists an effective and independent audit office, but its role is slightly limited.
 5
 4
 3


There exists an independent audit office, but its role is considerably limited.
 2
 1

There does not exist an independent and effective audit office.
Audit Office
4
According to Article 160 of the constitution, the Turkish Court of Accounts (TCA) is charged on behalf of the Grand National Assembly with auditing all accounts related to revenues, expenditures and properties of government departments that are financed by the general or subsidiary budgets. The court’s auditing capacity was limited by the Law 6085 in 2010, but the Constitutional Court annulled Article 79 regulating how the TCA would audit the accounts of public institutions. In December 2012, the Constitutional Court also annulled the provision limiting performance auditing. Currently, the TCA has three functions: auditing, financial trials and reporting. It conducts regulatory audits and performance audits. Contrary to the Constitutional Court’s decision, the current law prohibits the TCA to conduct a propriety audit. The TCA law is in line with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) standards. It provides for an exhaustive audit mandate and gives the TCA full discretion in discharging its responsibilities. As of the beginning of 2019, it consists of eight departments in which 48 members and 53 reporter auditors and 10 prosecutors are employed. It also has 674 professional auditors, 416 expert auditors, 120 chief auditors, 93 auditors and 45 deputy-auditors.

The TCA reports – but is not accountable to – parliament. Parliament elects the TCA president and its members among graduates of universities or higher education institutions of law, political science, economics and administrative sciences who have served at least 16 years in public service. The auditors are selected from a pool of university graduates in the same fields through a series of written and oral examinations. If a criminal act is found during the audits and investigations, the relevant auditor notifies the president of the TCA immediately. If a public criminal case is required, the chief prosecutor of the TCA sends the documents either to the relevant public authority or to the chief public prosecutor of the republic (prosecutors at the highest level in the country). A TCA report is taken as the basis of a trial but is shared only with those responsible and not disclosed to the public.

The court’s 2018 audit report on the administrative activities of 372 public institutions, including 184 municipalities, revealed several legal deficiencies. Out of 372 public institutions, 36 did not deliver an annual activity report; 141 failed to meet the legal contents and 52 of them did not refer to any source for the information provided in these reports. Moreover, 220 public administrations did not include basic financial statements, 134 administrations did not include information about the unions, institutions and organizations that received assistance and 236 public entities did not explain discrepancies in budget targets and realizations. Turkey’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which has been directly affiliated with the president of the republic since July 2018, lies outside the scope of the TCA’s supervision.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

TC Sayıştay Başkanlığı, 2018 Yılı Faaliyet Genel Değerlendirme Raporu, https://www.sayistay.gov.tr/tr/?p=2&CategoryId=98 (accessed 1 November 2018).

TC Sayıştay Başkanlığı, 2018 Yılı Faaliyet Raporu, https://www.sayistay.gov.tr/tr/Upload/76662805/files/SAYI%C5%9ETAY%202018%20YILI%20%C4%B0DARE%20FAAL%C4%B0YET%20RAPORU-(1).pdf (accessed 1 November 2018).

“Sayıştay haberleri,” https://odatv.com/tag/Say%C4%B1%C5%9Ftay (accessed 1 November 2018).

Does there exist an independent and effective ombuds office?

10
 9

There exists an effective and independent ombuds office.
 8
 7
 6


There exists an effective and independent ombuds office, but its advocacy role is slightly limited.
 5
 4
 3


There exists an independent ombuds office, but its advocacy role is considerably limited.
 2
 1

There does not exist an effective and independent ombuds office.
Ombuds Office
4
A law establishing a Turkish ombudsman office, called the Public Monitoring Institution (KDK), was adopted in June 2012 and went into force in December 2012. The office is located within the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office and is accountable to parliament. The ombudsman reviews lawsuits and administrative appeals (from the perspective of human rights and the rule of law) and ensures that the public administration is held accountable. In 2018, it received 17,585 new applications, almost similar to the previous year. It concluded 17,615 cases and adopted 677 full or partial recommendations. According to the KDK itself, two main obstacles hamper the efficacy of its work. First, the degree of compliance with its decisions has been low, with only 20% of its released decisions having been obeyed by public administrative bodies. Second, under the current law, the KDK cannot conduct inquiries on its own initiative. The EU Commission has pointed to the fact that the KDK still lacks ex officio powers to initiate investigations and to intervene in cases with legal remedies, which therefore curtail its effective impact.

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

T.C. Kamu Denetçiliği Kurumu 2018 Yılı Faaliyet Raporu, https://www.ombudsman.gov.tr/idare-faaliyet-raporlari/kdk-faaliyet-raporu-2018/mobile/index.html#p=72 (accessed 1 November 2019)

Is there an independent authority in place that effectively holds government offices accountable for handling issues of data protection and privacy?

10
 9

An independent and effective data protection authority exists.
 8
 7
 6


An independent and effective data protection authority exists, but its role is slightly limited.
 5
 4
 3


A data protection authority exists, but both its independence and effectiveness are strongly limited.
 2
 1

There is no effective and independent data protection office.
Data Protection Authority
3
In 2016, the country ratified the Council of Europe Convention 108 on the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and its additional protocol dated 1981. The Personal Data Protection Authority is now operational and its nine-member board has been appointed. Of the nine members, five were appointed by the parliament and four by the president. Law No. 6698 on Protection of Personal Data dated 2016 does not fully align with the EU acquis. This concerns the powers of the Data Protection Authority, the balancing of data protection with the right to freedom of expression and information.

Regarding the protection of personal data, the Personal Data Protection Authority is now operational and its board has been appointed, but no legislative changes have taken place to ensure that the law is harmonized with the EU acquis, in particular the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and Law Enforcement Directive 2016/680, which entered into force in May 2018. This concerns inter alia the application of data protection in law enforcement and the powers of the Data Protection Authority. Turkey has not signed or ratified the 2018 protocol amending the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Council of Europe, CETS No 223).

Citations:
European Commission, Turkey 2019 Report, Brussels, 29.5.2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-turkey- report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu, http://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/MevzuatMetin/1.5.6698.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)

N.D. Yıldırım et al., “Türkiye’deki Kişisel Verileri Koruma Mevzuatının Avrupa Birliği Mevzuatı Karşısındaki Yeri ve Uygulamadaki Durum,” February 2019, http://www.dphukuk.com/2019/02/01/turkiyedeki-kisisel-verileri-koruma-mevzuatinin-avrupa-birligi-mevzuati-karsisindaki-yeri-ve-uygulamadaki-durum/ (accessed 1 November 2019)
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