Widespread irregularities in EU’s financial support to Turkey

Fraud, discrimination and politicization of NGOs are among the irregularities the Swedish Radio has found when we examined the EU’s financial support to Turkey. The results of the survey is being broadcasted starting 11th of January.

The Swedish Radio travelled through the South East of Turkey to investigate whether EU money improved the situation and thus brought the country closer to Europe. The equivalent of 75 billion Swedish kronor was sent to Turkey for the country to adapt to EU membership. However, most of the needy, the poor peasants, women and child labourers have not seen much of that money. The money has instead reached fake consultants and others who do not help to bring about the necessary changes in the Turkish society to advance the Turkish EU application.
– We met villagers in Midyat, women hiding from violent husbands in asylums in Kiziltepe, people with disabilities in Diyarbakir and child labourers in Mardin. We flew back to Ankara and Istanbul to interview the people in charge of making the money improve the situation for these people. Even in big cities there are fraudulent practices regarding the EU support, says Nuri Keno, reporter.
Among Swedish Radios sources is an internationally recognized development cooperation consultant who talk about irregularities in an EU-funded project, a government source who does not see that all the EU money brought Turkey any closer to a membership in the Europe Union.
 – We’ve talked to all the key players, some have wished to remain anonymous, others want to openly discuss the abuses and they accuse the commission of having paved the way for irregularities by giving the Turkish authorities full responsibility for the money without adequate follow up on what has happened with the funds, says Kajsa Norell, reporter.

The results of the survey is being broadcasted starting today, 11th of January, 2010, and one week ahead.

We will point at a number of shortcomings and ask whether all this money has brought Turkey closer to EU membership.

Swedish Radio reports have been translated into English and will be available on the website www.sr.se/ekot