Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that the problem of corruption didn' have to be identified solely with the party in power or public officials and he announced that Turkish law should reach a level that it could investigate and certify corruption in conformity with the conditions of time and judge it rapidly so that it would decide a just punishment.
Bagis spoke at the opening of seminar titled "Fight Against Corruption and the Methods of Preventing Corruption", which was organized in cooperation of the European Commission and Secretariat General for EU Affairs.
Indicating that corruption was an important problem which dominated the agenda of public opinion not only in Turkey but also in the whole world, Bagis noted that the fact of corruption which affected the level of development and social structures of the society had to be fought against together.
Bagis said, "The problem of corruption is so important that no country can solve it alone. It is such an issue that no single institution in any country can solve" and he said that more than 120 institutions in Turkey were responsible for fight against corruption.
Noting that one of the most important achievemens of Turkey on its way to the EU was the political reforms it introduced, Bagis reminded that fight against corruption was also among the political criteria.
Bagis said that AK Party governments had emphasized their determination to fight against corruption with clear words and he mentioned some documents and decisions which were made, steps which were taken and projects which were implemented within this framework.
Indicating that all these work were also included in the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis, Bagis said that this was the most important indicator of the government's commitment on this issue.
Quoting from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement, "Corruption and prohibitions aren't ill-fate of this nation", Bagis stated that they would clamp down on these issues pertinaciously although there were some people who were disturbed by efforts made by the government towards this issue.
Saying that he felt that the term 'fight against corruption' was overused and therefore it lost its meaning, Bagis stated that AK Party government took important steps in this area but sometimes they were faced with unfair practices as a result of political mudslinging.
Bagis said, "I speak with self-confidence originating from honest policy making in Turkey. Disinformation campaigns won't cause us to back away from our determination. We observe that these campaigns are also supported either consciously or unconsciously in the media."
Noting that there were two important elements of fight against corruption, Bagis said that these were the role of social and moral system and imposing sanctions.
Indicating that social and moral structure of Turkey was the greatest assurance against corruption, Bagis stated that Turkey had high moral standards, that religion, family, mother, father, school and the place for military service always emphasized the virtue of being a good citizen and having high morals. Bagis added that on the other hand if the social structure gave the impression that one who did wrong could get away with it and if the judicial system which would apply the sanctions wasn't powerful enough, there would occur problems.
Bagis said it was very important that people are shown corruption was punished fairly and added that it was necessary to establish a judicial system which would demonstrate that "nobody did something wrong and got away with it" and that this could be done through a judicial system at modern EU standards.
Noting that Turkish law should reach a level that it could investigate and certify corruption in conformity with the conditions of time and judge it rapidly so that it would decide a just punishment, Bagis reminded that the expression "Would there be a certificate of bribery?" became a thing of the past. Bagis stated that one should stay away from mudslinging, unjust adjudication and extrajudicial execution.
Stating that judicial system of Turkey also needed serious reform, Bagis said that EU process was very important for this reason.
Bagis said that the way to fight against corruption was a fair judicial system and stated that certain periods in Turkey weren't elucidated, that very important processes were gone through and that there were still periods which needed to be clamped down on.