Öykü Altuntaş – Mücahit Bektaş / Antalya, Nov 16 () - Freedom of press and independence of judiciary are vital for fight against corruption, urged Transparency International, addressing escalating concerns over detainments of journalism in Turkey.
Having spoken to Doğan News Agency at the G20 Leaders Summit held in Antalya, “We would be very disappointed to see journalists being locked up because of covering corruption” said Maggie Murphy, Senior Programme Coordinator at Transparency International.
“We think a free and independent press is absolutely vital for any functioning democracy, whether it is Turkey or anywhere else” said Murphy.
Murphy underlined pressure on media had influence on corruption. “If journalists are able to ask questions and get honest answers from their governments, that fabric between government and citizens is less threatened” she added.
The transparency international has revealed that conflict is often in a local area triggered by corruption concerns, said Murphy, referring to a link between the growing threat of terrorism across the world, over the Paris attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) most recently.
“Corruption also can hamper the efforts of governments trying to deal with conflict. There are severe risks that the G20 military defence systems in a number of countries pose great risks” Murphy commented.
“We think you need to have independence of judiciary, court cases must go to court and go through the full due process” she suggested Turkey.
“Finally there must be political will and we are not sure we see the political will from the Turkish government to really fight corruption” she said.
Chair of Transparency International in Turkey, Oya Özarslan, agreed concerns over press freedom and judiciary processes in the country.
Özarslan told she did not expect Turkey’s score to improve, after a significant drop last year, as there has been no advance in fight with corruption.
In 2014, Turkey has regressed by five points, with the biggest jump down in one year than any other country in the world.
A country should show political will, spot its flaws, and accordingly make reforms, Özarslan suggested.
She underlined media freedom was a crucial issue at the “battle field” of fight with corruption
Over 120 cases have been field for reporting on corruption in Turkey, where 70 journalists have faced court from December 2014, according to Turkish Journalist Association data.
A recent Transparency International report amid G20 Summit has showed G20 countries fail to keep their promises on fighting crime
“It is crucial that the G20 principles are now transposed into law and implemented effectively by member countries” the statement said.