AKP seeks jail term for publishing statistics without approval

Turkey’s ruling AKP has prepared a law draft demanding prison sentences from one to three years for those who release statistics without obtaining the approval of the government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), Bloomberg reported.

Duvar English

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared a law draft to be submitted to parliament in order to prevent the spread of different statistical figures other than state institution figures.

Accordingly, those who produce statistics and publish them without the approval of the government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) will be sentenced from one to three years in prison, Bloomberg reported.

According to the draft, studies containing statistical results in the fields of environment, demography, price, labor force, agriculture and national accounts need to be approved by TÜİK. 

If analysts want to announce their statistical results to the public, they need to file an application to TÜİK to have their methodology, sampling method, sample volume and data collection method approved.

The institution is required to finalize this application within two months, according to the draft law. Results of studies whose methodology is not approved by TÜİK will not be made public by any means.

The draft law argues that alternative statistics target TÜİK and the confidence in economic indicators.

There is a big difference between the inflation data of TÜİK and ENAG, created by independent economists. TÜİK announced March inflation as 61 percent, while ENAG calculated it as 142 percent.

Meanwhile, in the face of the draft law, ENAG shared a statement on its social media account saying: "ENAGgroup will always share the inflation rate with our people on this page. Sincerely.”