Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Turkish Interior Ministry official accuses multinational water corporation of grand-scale corruption in Turkey

The World Water Forum session “Beyond Water Bribes: How to build a corruption-resistant water sector” on Wednesday morning ended on a very different note from how the organisers presumably intended. The session featured presentations by representatives of French water multinational Veolia Environnement and Transparency International, both active members of the so-called Water Integrity Network (WIN). The debate focused on the dramatic consequences of water corruption and how best to prevent this. One can really wonder whether it is appropriate for Veolia, which is a notoriously corrupting company (condemned several times by French justice for bribery related to water contracts) to present itself as an authority on these questions. This doubt seems to be shared by Turkish anti-corruption authorities.

Mr B. Savur, Director at the Turkish Ministry of Interior, spoke from the floor and made his feelings clear. He began by explaining that the numerous investigations he had been ordering led to the conclusion that “grand-scale water corruption is usually of an international nature”. He notably quoted a corruption case in Turkey currently investigated by Turkish justice, involving a well-known international company which he would not specify for confidentiality reasons. The case involves a 250 millions dollars public procurement contract and the company, according to him, promotes this contract as a success story.

“I believe water-related crimes are crimes against human rights”, he said. Mr. Savur added that there is a structural problem in water-related corruption: water projects are long-term projects starting from the signature of the contact, whereas corruption is not revealed immediately. Too often, he remarked, it is too late to intervene. He concluded by suggesting that an International Tribunal for Water Crimes should be established to effectively tackle corruption in the water sector.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For more information about the 'so called' Water Integrity Network, visit