BİRGÜN DAİLY 18.01.2017 12:38

Over 3.5m TL paid as 'bonus prize' by Turkey's government to informants

Over 3.5m TL paid as 'bonus prize' by Turkey's government to informants

NURCAN GÖKDEMİR / @nurcangokdemir

The year 2016 ended up being a rewarding year for those citizens of Turkey who denounced their neighbors, colleagues, or just random strangers to Turkey’s government officials.

The calls of President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, along with several ministers and other officials of the government, to the public of Turkey following the coup attempt of July 15 to inform against people whom they deemed as ‘connected to terror’ have received widespread response from parts of the society.

A taxi driver recording his dialogue with a passenger and reporting it to police and a village headman informing against 18 residents of his town claiming they are members of PKK, DHKP-C and FETÖ and that they assaulted Erdoğan are just two examples of numerous such incidents where people of Turkey denounced their fellow countrymen to the government officials and ended up receiving a prize for it.

The spending of the government under the item ‘bonus prizes for those who are not state employees’ reached its highest level ever last year. According to data released by the Ministry of Finance, Turkey’s government paid 2.5 million TL more in 2016 than in 2015 under this expense item.

While there was no such expense in the month of January last year, 50K TL was spent in February; 56K TL in March; 242K TL in April; 166K in June; and 96K TL in July. In the month of August, which was the month following the coup attempt of July, spending under this item increased to 905K TL and was followed with another peak in November, where 402K TL was given out by the government as ‘prize bonus for those who are not state employees.’

Last month of 2016 marked the greatest ever such government spending in Turkey’s history since a total of 1 million 275 thousand TL was spent on that item. While 2015 was initially considered as a year with a significant spending on this item (1.4 million TL), in 2016, this amount reached 3 million 688 thousand TL…