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Penalties

Individuals

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

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

  • Bribery – under Article 252, anyone who directly or indirectly provides a benefit to a public official (or to 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.

Companies or organisations

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Both individuals and companies can be held liable under Turkish anti-corruption rules. However, while individuals can be held criminally liable, legal persons cannot. Instead, the Criminal Code 5237 provides that if a bribe provides a legal entity with an unlawful benefit, the following measures may be imposed:

  • the invalidation of the licence granted by a public authority;
  • the seizure of the goods used in the commitment of or that are the result of a crime by representatives of a legal entity; or
  • the seizure of pecuniary benefits arising from or provided for the committing of a crime.

Article 43/A of the Law on Misdemeanours stipulates that if bribery or bid rigging is committed by a legal person’s representative or by persons discharging duties within the legal person’s scope of activities even though they are not representatives, the legal person will be punished by an administrative fine of between TRY15,804 (approximately $5,500) and TRY3,161,421 (approximately $1,000,000).

Further, both individuals and legal persons can be held civilly liable for their corruption-related actions which cause damage to other individuals or entities.

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