OECD > FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1-What is the Offence of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials?
Corruption is one of the biggest obstacles before economic and social development, and the bribery of foreign public officials is a means of corruption.
Bribery of foreign public officials or offering or promising this, as well as a request of a foreign public official to provide advantage to himself/herself or a real or legal person to be indicated by him/her or accepting the offer or advantage is an offence.

2-Is Foreign Bribery Common?
International trade has reached unprecedented levels, recently. Multinational companies make huge investments particularly in developing countries and obtain their income mostly from these investments. The significant profit margins obtained from international trade fosters competition in this field and causes companies to use elements outside of free competitive markets. One of the leading elements is undoubtedly the bribery given to tender commissions or other decision making bodies in the country with business transactions are made.

If “bribery” can be used as a tool to be awarded with a trade, investment or business transaction in a foreign country, then it is not possible to mention the existence of fair competition conditions. All in all, it cannot be expected from an unfair competition environment to provide benefits to any entrepreneur. This situation, in addition to the measures taken by countries to combat bribery within their domestic law, has necessitated prevention of bribery activities abroad of their companies and nationals by criminalizing such actions.

The act of bribery, which hampers economic development and causes distortion in international development, has become so common especially in international business transactions and this has made taking of measures in the international level mandatory.

3-Why Combating Foreign Bribery is Important?
In a country with lack of effective legal arrangements and implementations in combating bribery and corruption, it is highly difficult to estimate the “atmosphere” with which businessmen can encounter in the country. If “bribery” can be used as a tool to be awarded with a trade, investment or business transaction in a foreign country, then it is not possible to mention the existence of fair competition conditions. All in all, it cannot be expected from an unfair competition environment to provide benefits to any entrepreneur. This situation, in addition to the measures taken by countries to combat bribery within their domestic law, has necessitated prevention of bribery activities abroad of their companies and nationals by criminalizing such actions.

4-What are the Sanctions in the Offence of Bribery in the Turkish Criminal Code?
According to Article 252/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code, a public official who receives bribe and who gives bribe are sentenced to imprisonment for a term of four to twelve years. Those who give bribe to a foreign public official shall be subject to the same sanctions.

Furthermore, confiscation decision may be given with regard to goods or pecuniary benefits given as a bribe within the framework of Article 54 and 55 of the Turkish Criminal Code or economic gains derived from these.

5-Can Companies be held responsible?
Article 253 of the Turkish Criminal Code stipulates that special security measures shall be applied for legal persons who gained undue advantage through commission of the offence of bribery.

Within this framework, Article 60 of the Turkish Criminal Code is taken into account and the following measures are also applied to legal persons:
Cancellation of operation licence

Confiscation
According to Article 43/A of the Misdemeanour Law numbered 5326, in the event that the offence of bribery defined in Article 252 is committed for the benefit of a legal person, an administrative fine from ten thousand Turkish Liras to two million Turkish Liras shall be imposed on such person.

6-To Whom Can I Denounce such Offence or Make a Complaint?
Denunciations or complaints regarding the offence of bribery are lodged at the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and the law enforcement authorities if committed within the country, and at embassies and consulates if committed abroad.

7-Which Sanctions are Imposed if Foreign Bribery is not Notified?
According to Article 278 of the Turkish Criminal Code, a person failing to notify the offence to the competent authorities, he/she shall be imprisoned up to one year.

For this reason, failure to notify the offence of bribery requires imprisonment. For the imprisonments, the person failing to notify the offence of bribery does not necessarily have to be a public official. Non-public officials are also punished with imprisonment when they do not notify such offence.

 
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