Corruption on the rise in Middle East


According to civil society organization Transparency International’s (TI) 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Kom News’ focus countries have all dropped in ranking.

Turkey is now in 75th place, Iran in 131st, Iraq in 166th, and Syria in 173rd. The latter two are amongst the ten most corrupt countries in the world together with Libya, Sudan, and Yemen from the same region. Syria has fallen 40 places since 2003 while Iraq has dropped 35 places from the same year.

“Despite the political changes that shook the Arab region six years ago”, writes Regional analyst Kinda Hattar from TI, “the majority of Arab countries have failed to fulfil the will of the people to build democratic systems allowing for greater transparency and accountability” – Tunisia being an exception as it is one of the few Arab dominated countries that improved, now sharing a place with Turkey.

Turkey, on the other hand, has been falling in the rankings since the 2013 corruption scandal when 52 people, connected to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in various ways and degrees, were detained.

Analyst Finn Heinrich, also at Transparency International, claims corruption has to do with inequality and vice versa. “Trump and many other populist leaders regularly make a connection between a “corrupt elite” interested only in enriching themselves and their (rich) supporters and the marginalisation of “working people”, Heinrich writes. However, most of the times, the analyst adds, “anti-establishment parties fail miserably to address – and often significantly increase – the very corruption they set out to get rid of”.

CPI is based on data from 13 sources including surveys carried out by the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.