Saturday, 10 December 2022
US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber wrote an opinion piece for Yeniduzen on the occasion of Anti-Corruption Day.
Here is the gist of what she wrote regarding corruption in North Cyprus:
“All over the world, the basic freedoms enjoyed by every individual are increasingly under threat. Democracies new and old are grappling with a double crisis of corruption and bad influence, both at home and abroad. As people around the world continue to commemorate Anti-Corruption Day, let’s consider the role each of us plays in upholding the ideals of democracy.
“At the US Embassy, we are fortunate to work with Turkish Cypriot partners who are committed to this issue by exchanging anti-corruption data, attending technical workshops and sharing best practices in promoting transparency. However, there are still significant gaps in the fight against corruption in the Turkish Cypriot community”.
Ms Garber goes on to point to “striking data” based on the Northern Cyprus Corruption Perceptions Report (2021).
She says that according to the report, 97 percent of business people thought that corruption is widespread. Furthermore, 80 percent of Turkish Cypriots believe that politicians and political leaders regularly are involved in bribery.
The ambassador noted that journalists and dissidents were being harassed, arrested and prosecuted and their freedom of movement restricted. Press freedom was being eroded, she said.
“Every day we can see the consequences of corruption emerging in the cities and villages of the Turkish Cypriot community. Today, thousands of foreign workers and students are vulnerable to trafficking in nightclubs, factories, farms and construction sites.
Garber went on to say that increasingly, Turkish Cypriots were leaving the island to make a better life for themselves abroad.
“As my term as U.S. Ambassador comes to an end, I applaud all those who both reflect on the people’s strong desire for justice and work to fight corruption, defend human rights, and uphold the rule of law. We can and must do better to eradicate the scourge of corruption wherever we find it, and to create a fairer, more prosperous society for ourselves and future generations”.