Turkey and Bosnia Slip In Fight Against Corruption, Says New Transparency International Index

Published: 03 December 2014


Transparency International has released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014, identifying Turkey as the country whose reputation for graft has grown the most in the past year.

Turkey’s reputation suffered in 2014 amid fallout from a corruption scandal that first broke late last December. Under former Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country took a number of stern steps to clamp down on the case, including arresting dozens of police who were investigating officials, temporarily blocking Twitter, and, most recently, banning media coverage of the scandal. Turkey’s score dropped by five points since last year, from 50 to 45. Other countries whose scores dropped include Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda, all of which dropped by four points.

2014 CPIThe Berlin-based NGO’s index ranks countries on a scale from 0 (high corruption) to 100 (low corruption). Of the 175 countries on this year’s index, Denmark, New Zealand and Finland were seen to be the least corrupt, with scores of 92, 91 and 89, respectively.

However, more than two-thirds of countries do poorly, scoring below 50 on the index. The countries with the worst overall scores were Sudan, North Korea and Somalia, at 11, 8 and 8.

Efforts to fight corruption in Eastern Europe were largely ineffectual, according to the index, which showed little change across the region, and reconfirmed what the European Commision said in October: just intending to fight corruption is not enough. Eastern Europe’s lowest-scoring nations were Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, with respective scores of 26, 27, and 31. Aside from Turkey, the most significant decrease in score came in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which dropped three points from 42 to 39.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is corrupted from the cradle to the grave,” explained a representative from the local chapter of Transparency International at a press conference on the index.

The Baltic countries performed comparatively well, particularly Estonia, which was seen as the least corrupt by far with a score of 69. Lithuania and Latvia scored 58 and 55, respectively.

The serious and pervasive nature of corruption in Central Asia placed much of the region near the very bottom of the global list. Azerbaijan, where an OCCRP partner has been placed on trial in an attempt to intimidate her for reporting on government corruption, scored 29. Uzbekistan, home of Gulnara Karimova, was in 166th place with a score of 18. Turkmenistan was even lower, in 169th place with a score of 17. One notable exception in the region is Georgia, which went up by three points for a score of 52, although Transparency International Georgia explained that, having dropped by three points the previous year, this means that levels of corruption in Georgia have remained stable.

The CPI is generated by gathering data from 12 different ranking sources, which include the World Bank, Freedom House and the World Justice Project.