I have penned dozens of articles about the AKP regime’s “invited tender” policy.
I have passed on lists of project after project and payment after payment exemplifying the use by above all the General Highways Directorate and the State Hydraulic Works, Ministry of Justice, Housing Development Administration, etc. of Article 21/b of the Public Procurement Law contrary to its purpose.
I have felt the journalistic excitement of my articles forming the subject matter of academic studies, written questions in parliament and interpellation motions by the main opposition CHP party – even if these have been defeated in shows of hands.
I most recently wrote in this column of 2017 being the “golden age” for 21/b tenders.
I mentioned that, according to figures that I had managed to dig up, in 2017 more than 150 tenders had been conducted by the “invitation” method and their total amount had been 36.5 billion lira.
Reminder: Paragraph “b” of Article 21 headed “negotiated tendering” describes the circumstances under which a public procurement tender may be conducted “urgently.” Should a sudden situation emerge like natural disasters, contagious diseases or the threat of loss of life or property, or events occur that the administration could not have previously foreseen, the administration may invite companies without making public announcement.
But, 21/b became the default option of the period. The instructing “authorities” did not seek out the conditions enumerated in the article. Had the hundreds of 21/b’s conducted until now been legal, the country would have to have been engulfed in earthquakes, floods and contagious disease.
But, because it affords the advantage of populism and affects growth, the ranks of the AKP applied and apply 21/b without seeking out the preconditions contained in it. (And these are the reasons we know about.)
You cannot hide the elephant in the room
Let us now come to the reason for so many reminders.
A brand new “omnibus bill” was submitted to parliament on Friday evening.
The architects of the bill that, as is the custom with every “omnibus,” speaks of amending “Certain Laws,” were Mustafa Elitaş and Ahmet Aydın. Buried within the measure, which introduces articles on such things as new fines in the foreign exchange regime and amnesties for those who crossed toll bridges without paying, was also an article on 21/b.
If the bill is adopted as it stands, the wording “exhibiting particularity in terms of construction technique” will be appended to Article 21/b. As to the justification, this is that forty-year-old 21/b is “open to interpretation.”
Thanks to this mooted change, implementation will supposedly be fine-tuned.
Yes, this is the very justification for Article 14 of the bill, even if it rather resembles tricking a small child.
Let us not mince words. The AKP ruling body must have finally seen, dear readers, that the billions worth of tenders conducted so far in the absence of earthquake or contagious disease, or more correctly conducted to order, will cause problems due to their not being procedurally compliant.
By “appending” the wording “exhibiting particularity in terms of construction technique” to the article, they will be able to say, “Such-and-such a road, such-and-such a prison, such dam or other actually exhibited particularity in terms of construction technique.
With reference both to tenders in the past, and the tenders they will wish to conduct speedily hereafter.
But, you cannot hide the elephant in the room.
If a tender that does not meet the conditions in 21/b was conducted as if it did, the legal problems it entails cannot be rectified with a subsequent regulation.
We are not forgetting that what is at stake are public resources that have been created from our taxes and distributed carelessly.
Never-ending easy earnings from the Atatürk Forest Farm land
There is also a provision in the Elitaş-Aydın-sponsored “omnibus bill” on the Atatürk Forest Farm (AFF) that never ceases to be pillaged.
A glance at Article 6 gives you to understand that a zoo will be made on the AFF.
But not just a zoo. A giant tract of land whose coordinates are annexed in a whopping list at the end of the bill will be assigned for 29 years to Ankara Metropolitan Municipality.
Yes, assigned. Free of charge.
The aim apparently is: “So that a zoo, theme park, recreational areas and buildings that will meet the daily needs of the visitors who come here may be constructed on the AFF...”
What are we to understand by the word “buildings?”
Construction of the Summer Palace continues
I will share with you a letter from a reader written from Marmaris.
The situation they experienced and reported was from ten days ago. On taking the fork to go to Marmaris Karacasöğüt, they see that there is road-widening work. Moving forward in the expectation of soon passing it, they see the number of lorries increasing and the roadworks becoming heavier.
On asking passing villagers the way, a villager warns, “one of the roads in particular must absolutely not be entered.” They add that more lorries are working on that road and this work is being done for the Presidential Summer Palace in Okluk village. The reader whose name is known to me is forced to return from the road that the lorries have closed with their coming and going.
They were not surprised, but let us ask:
With package upon package and omnibus measure upon omnibus measure being announced to resuscitate the economy, would it be a bad thing if the construction of the summer palace, to which millions are being channelled from the budget, were to be postponed?
Which direction is the star and crescent on the stamp facing?
“There is a more serious matter than ballot slips being stamped.”
My reader Ünsal Çakır sets the ball rolling with talk of “ballot box records.”
He suspects that the basic “amendment” that will impair electoral integrity has been/will be made in the records. Çakır has studied the results of the 17 April 2017 referendum.
He has studied the result records and tally records posted on the Computer Supported Central Voter Registry System. The results are quite striking. An excerpt from the letter Çakır sent to Supreme Election Council Chair, Sadi Güven:
“The flag of the Republic of Turkey State is a white star and crescent from left to right on a red background. (...) On stamps representing this state this star and crescent is without exception in the centre of this stamp and is from left to right. (...)
The BALLOT BOX RESULT RECORDS and the TALLY TABLES that were compiled and signed by ballot-box committees and stamped with the ballot box committee stamp (and most of the numbers do not correspond to the ballot box number) in the CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM that changed the manner of governance of the Republic of Turkey on 16 April 2017 have been posted on the Computer Supported Central Voter Registry System. I have examined roughly 60,000 of these records pertaining to 18 provinces. Unfortunately, THE STAR AND CRESCENT on a portion of nearly 30% of these BALLOT-BOX COMMITTEE STAMPS is positioned from right to left and most of them relate to the Parliamentary Election.
(...) if, in fact, the stamps are false, I invite the Supreme Election Council to take measures, if not, to immediately destroy the stamps and ensure that the upcoming election is conducted with star and crescent stamps that befit this hallowed state.”
Is it normal for the star and crescent on official stamps to face left? Will these stamps be used on 24 June?