02/03/2023, 16.47
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Erdogan in power sees corruption rise in Turkey

For Transparency International, Ankara records the worst figure in the last decade. It has risen from 50 points in 2013 to 38 in 2022. In the region, Syria the most corrupt country, UAE the least corrupt. Without Netanyahu in power Israel improves by four points and ranks 31st.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Over the past decade, with President -- and former prime minister -- Recep Tayyip Erdogan in power, Turkey has experienced a gradual increase in corruption to the point where it will record its worst figure in 2022 and slip to 101st place out of 180 nations in the world.

This is the finding of this week's Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perception Index (Cpi) report. The study records the gradual deterioration of a nation that, in the spring, will go to the polls for key elections in future domestic and regional perspectives. Ankara, experts explain, has lost two points in a year and marks the worst figure since 2013, with a "significant" decline in the rankings. 

The Cpi examines nations on a scale ranging from 0 (high level of perceived corruption) to 100 (low level of perceived corruption). In 2022, Turkey garnered 34 points out of 100, two less than the previous year and the lowest in the past decade, confirming activists' and NGOs' reports of a gradual expansion of corruption in a country also marked by the economic and domestic currency crisis. 

The gradual decline is evidenced by the numbers: from 50 in 2013, Turkey dropped to 45 in 2014, 42 in 2015, 41 in 2016, and 40 in 2017. The country's score was 38 in 2021 and 36 in 2022, plummeting 15 places in the last two years and in the group of nations with the largest decline in a decade. The analysis accompanying the report highlights some of the many problems underlying Turkey's decline. 

Following Turkey's inclusion on the Financial Action Task Force's gray list in 2021, Ankara has continued the trend of decline. Factors include the huge amount of unrecorded money entering the country and increased in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine, the politicization of the judiciary, the shrinking democratic sphere, and the crackdown on oppositions.

The Transparency International 2022 report also highlights the practice of impunity toward power-linked sectors, resulting in a more widespread and ordinary system of corruption. 

Broadening the discourse to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, where corruption remains common practice and progressively increasing, the nation with the worst data is Syria (followed by Yemen and Iraq), while the United Arab Emirates (UAE) scores the best. Most countries in the Middle East have dropped in the rankings, and the region marks a new low, with an average across states of 38 out of 100.

In a note TI points out that nations "are struggling to achieve tangible results against corruption, but none have recorded a significant improvement in the Corruption Perceptions Index over the past decade." In 2022, Oman saw the largest decline, by 8 points, from the previous year. The Gulf sultanate is now ranked 69th globally. Israel improves (in 2022 without Benjamin Netanyahu in power, but returned to government leadership only at the end of the year), which climbs four places to rank 31st overall. 

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