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Specific offences and restrictions

Offences

What are the key corruption and bribery offences in your jurisdiction?

The main corruption and bribery offences under the Criminal Code 5237 are as follows:

  • Bribery – under Article 252, anyone who directly or indirectly provides a benefit to a public official (or a person designated by a public official), so that the public official realises or does not realise an action regarding his or her official duty, will be punished with four to 12 years’ imprisonment.
  • Fraud – under Article 157, anyone who deceives a person through fraudulent acts and obtains a benefit for himself or herself or others to the detriment of others will be punished with one to five years’ imprisonment and a judicial fine calculated for up to 5,000 days (as of 2016, a judicial fine per day is determined between TRY20 and TRY100).
  • Embezzlement – under Article 247, public officials who embezzle (for themselves or others) goods that were transferred to them in relation to their duties or that they are obliged to protect and monitor will be punished with five to 12 years’ imprisonment.
  • Laundering of criminal proceeds – under Article 282, anyone involved in a crime that is punishable by six months’ imprisonment or more who transfers the proceeds of the crime abroad, subjects them to various transactions to conceal their source or creates the impression that the money was legitimately obtained will be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment and a judicial fine calculated for up to 20,000 days.
  • Bid rigging – under Article 235, anyone who conspires to rig bids in an auction for the purchase, sale or lease of goods or services carried out on behalf of public entities will be sentenced to three to seven years’ imprisonment.

Hospitality restrictions

Are specific restrictions in place regarding the provision of hospitality (eg, gifts, travel expenses, meals and entertainment)? If so, what are the details?

In general, hospitality expenses might be considered as bribes under Turkish law and any individual who provides or accepts gifts or expenses could be punished as such.

The rules regarding hospitality for public officials are established in the Regulation on Ethical Principles. According to Article 29 of Law 657 on Public Officers, public officials are prohibited from:

  • accepting or requesting gifts directly or indirectly; and
  • accepting gifts or borrowing money from business owners with the aim of providing benefits.

The Public Officials Council of Ethics is authorised to determine the scope of the ban on accepting gifts and request a list of gifts received by general directors and high-level public officials at the end of each calendar year. Under Article 15 of the Regulation on Ethical Principles for Public Officers and Procedures and the Principles for Application, the ban on accepting gifts includes travel and accommodation expenses, as well as scholarships – which may be considered to be hospitality payments – received from parties that have a relationship with the institution in which the public official serves. Accordingly, in 2009 the Public Officials Council of Ethics found that companies paying the accommodation expenses of public officials who participated in company meetings were in breach of the ban on accepting gifts. 

Facilitation payments

What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?

Unlike the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s anti-bribery provisions, the Criminal Code 5237’s relevant provisions provide no exceptions regarding facilitation payments. Offering or providing facilitation or grease payments is a crime in Turkey. 

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