Sunday 5 November 2023
Serious allegations of corruption have arisen while the UBP-DP-YDP coalition government has held power, some of which were reported to the police, but so far, there have been no conclusive outcomes, Yeniduzen reports.
Public opinion surveys have also suggested that there has been a significant increase in allegations of ‘bribery.’
Financial Loss at KIB-TEK
One of the prominent issues related to corruption is the reported $6.7 million “loss” at the Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority (KIB-TEK), as reflected in the Audit Office’s report. This relates to a number of costly fuel purchases made without going to tender. The matter was initially referred to the Prosecutor’s Office and later to the police, however ten months on, there have been no arrests made.
A year has passed since the report prepared by the Audit Office in December 2022, which contained findings indicating that KIB-TEK suffered a loss of $6.7 million, was sent to the Prosecutor’s Office on 8 January and to the General Police Directorate on 17 January, with the intention of initiating an investigation.
According to the report, the process began with the “wet signature compliance” debates during fuel procurement on 13 February, 2021.
This continued with the Council of Ministers repeatedly cancelling tenders, which had approved the proposal made by the then Minister of Finance responsible for KIB-TEK, Sunat Atun, to procure fuel outside the scope of the Public Procurement Law, and the subsequent failure of Atun’s attempt to procure fuel from TPIC, which led to a surge of multi-million dollar purchases.
The report revealed that Sidereal Lines Ltd., which is currently in a legal dispute with the KIB-TEK over a disagreement over payments, was obligated under the contract to meet the institution’s fuel needs even in the case of unilateral termination “upon request“. However, it was determined that the institution’s management did not request fuel from the company during this three-month period. Instead, it made 20 non-competitive purchases over that time period.
Following a decision made by the Council of Ministers, KIB-TEK made a total of 20 non-tendered purchases from İçkale (9), PETCO (5), and AKSA (3), in violation of the Public Procurement Law.
Private Jet Scandal
Unauthorised entry into the TRNC during the pandemic lockdown came to public attention on 14 June, 2020 resulting in the dismissal of the then Minister of Tourism Ünal Üstel.
This happened when a group of businessmen arrived at Ercan Airport and stayed at a quarantine hotel without any of the standard safeguarding procedures being followed.
Although the police report on the matter was completed, it was not shared with the public. Despite this incident taking place three years ago and a completed police report made, no action has been taken.
Alleged Corruption in Grain Purchases
The Land Products Authority (TÜK), responsible for the production, supply, and import of all grain products required for bread production, animal feed, and other products in North Cyprus, has also been recently associated with allegations of “corruption“. However, the government has not taken any steps regarding these significant allegations either.
These allegations revolve around a local company’s product that was brought to the island without anyone’s knowledge by the Chairman of the TÜK Board of Directors, Gürsel Uzun. Furthermore, this product was labelled as “contaminated” in a report written by the product inspection officer of TÜK. It was alleged that Gürsel Uzun had secret discussions about this matter and completed the process without even bringing it to the attention of the Board of Directors.
These allegations are connected to Hasan Adahan, who served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TÜK between 2019 and 2022. Adahan claimed that the “corruption in TÜK” allegations began in December 2022 when he ran as an independent candidate in the municipal elections instead of the UBP (National Unity Party). He asserted that his party conducted a “character assassination” against him. According to Adahan, the allegations were tied to the local elections on December 25, 2022, where he ran as an independent candidate, and the UBP initiated a campaign to tarnish his reputation.
North Cyprus Corruption Barometer 2021
According to the “North Cyprus Corruption Barometer 2021” report, 9 out of 10 people considered corruption a problem, 8 out of 10 believed corruption was increasing, and 9 out of 10 believed that the government was ineffective in fighting corruption.