Turkish president calls for anti-corruption drive
Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Sunday, March 4, called for institutional transparency in the fight against endemic corruption, behind a recent row, which plunged Turkey's financial sector into turmoil.
A spat between Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit nearly two weeks ago over fighting corruption led to a political crisis, which brought about the collapse of the Turkish lira and a plummeting Istanbul stock exchange.
"The most fundamental measure in the fight against the threat of corruption is installing transparent state structures," Sezer said in a statement.
"Instances of corruption have taken on a scale which demands special attention," he added, calling on Turkish leaders and citizens to show their determination to combat, "the social scourge which threatens our country and our future."
Ecevit walked out of a meeting with President Sezer on February 19, saying the president was not facing the challenge of fighting corruption, which has tainted the Turkish government.
Financial markets reacted rapidly to the row sensing a political crisis and registered a 30 percent fall in the lira against the dollar with equity markets falling nearly 20 percent and interest rates spiraling at points to around 4,000 percent.
Turkey's population considers corruption to be the country's third greatest problem after inflation and the cost of living and unemployment, according to a survey carried out last week. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)