45 percent of Turks think corruption is widespread in country: Survey

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Some 45 percent of Turkish respondents of an annual Transparency International survey think corruption has gotten worse over the last four years, while 29 percent think there is less corruption.

Commenting on the results, Oya Özarslan, the head of Transparency International’s Turkey branch, said corruption slows economic growth, damages trust in the legal system, abuses limited resources, and paves the way to injustice. She urged “all segments of society” to come together to solve the problem.

The “Global Corruption Perceptions Index 2016” survey was conducted in 42 countries in Europe and Central Asia, and shows that corruption remains prevalent around the world. Some 53 percent of respondents said they think their government is failing to challenge corruption sufficiently. 

Parliamentarians and public officials are seen as the most corrupt groups, according to the poll.

A key finding of the survey is that political polarization plays a significant role in the perception of corruption among Turks.

Some 41 percent of society believes the government is successful in fighting against corruption in Turkey, while 41 percent thinks the government is failing.  

Some 62 percent of respondents saw personnel from institutions and organizations upholding executive power as somewhat corrupt. Only 19 percent view institutions and organizations as completely uncorrupt, while 20 percent abstained from expressing an opinion on the subject.

In terms of the professions that are perceived as corrupt, 67 percent of respondents said lawmakers are corrupt, 66 percent said government officials are corrupt, 64 percent said judiciary officials are corrupt, and 58 percent said religious officials are corrupt, Transparency International stated.

The institutions perceived as most corrupt are state offices according to 41 percent of respondents, parliament according to 40 percent, tax offices according to 39 percent, local administrations according to 38 percent, executive offices according to 38 percent, judicial offices according to 36 percent, private sector executives according to 35 percent, religious offices according to 33 percent and the police according to 32 percent, according to the survey. 

In terms of bribery, 23 percent of respondents said they had given bribes when applying for unemployment benefits, 20 percent said they had given bribes in legal processes, 18 percent said they had given bribes in public schools, and 17 percent said they had given bribes in other schools. In addition, 16 percent said they had given bribes when accessing social security, 12 percent said they had given bribes when accessing public health services, 12 percent said they had given bribes when obtaining official documents and 11 percent said they had given bribes in encounters with the traffic police.

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