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Amendments to the bribery article of the Turkish criminal code numbered 5237

Amendments to the bribery article of the Turkish criminal code numbered 5237

Article 252 of the Turkish Criminal Code numbered 5237 dated September 26, 2004 has been amended by the Law numbered 6352 published in the Official Gazette numbered 28344 and dated July 5, 2012.

The most important change made by the Law is the first paragraph of Article 252 which defines the offense of bribery. According to the said Article the offense of bribery is defined as a benefit illegally secured directly or through intermediary by a public official or another person pointed out by a public official to perform, or not to perform, a task regarding the performance of the official’s duties.

Under the amendment, with regard to bribery of foreign public officials, the provision penalizing the bribery of foreign public officials has also been amended and the scope of the definition of foreign public officials has been expanded.

Moreover a new paragraph has been added to Article 252 which covers foreigners who bribe foreign officials out of Turkey in relation to a transaction which Turkey or a public institution located in Turkey or a legal entity established under Turkish Laws or a Turkish citizen is involved.

In addition to the above summarized amendments to Article 252 of  Turkish Criminal Code, Turkey, very recently, became a member of Agreement for the Establishment of the International Anti-Corruption Academy as an International Organization with the 24 August 2012 dated and 2012/3678 numbered decision of the Board of Ministries published in the 8 September 2012 dated Official Gazette. This membership is appreciated by advocates of anti-corruption practices and will definitely contribute to the positive developments in the area of fighting against anti-corruption.

With the amendment to the Article 252 one of the most debated subjects regarding the scope of the offense of bribery seems to be resolved and scope of offence of foreign bribery is expanded. Consequently, Turkey may expect less criticism from the international bodies and advocates of anti-corruption activities in that regard. On the other hand, whilst Turkey has sophisticated legislation to apply in the fight against anti-corruption; international bodies and organizations would definitely like to see more aggressive actions, implementation and determination of cases which are very few in numbers. Although many questions remain the developments show that there is a political will to do so.

E.Sevi Firat

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