Turkish ministers fail to answer 16,000 parliamentary inquiries in three years

Turkish ministers have failed to respond to more than one-third of parliamentary inquiries presented since June 2018, data from the speaker's office revealed.

Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Turkish ministers have failed to answer more than 16,000 parliamentary inquiries presented by members of parliament since June 2018, with the Justice Ministry leading among government offices that failed to respond to deputies' questions.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) presented 65 percent of the parliamentary inquiries that remained unanswered, an unsurprising statistic given the party faced a closure lawsuit alongside prosecution against its members.

It was also a member of the HDP, Batman deputy Necdet İpekyüz, who presented a parliamentary inquiry about the government's response rates, which Deputy Parliament Speaker Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç responded to.

Bilgiç's response revealed that only 5,109 of the 46,013 parliamentary inquiries were replied in time during the 27th legislative session that started in June 2018, while another 23,552 were replied late.

Some 16,068 inquiries were left unanswered, meaning that only 62.48 percent of all questions directed at the state were answered by Ankara. 

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) was the party that presented the highest number of inquiries with 30,216 questions asked, and a majority of 21,239 of them were answered. Only 29.7 percent of CHP's parliamentary inquiries remained unanswered. 

The HDP came in second with 10,105 inquiries presented, although only a mere 3,561 of them were answered, leaving 64.7 percent of their questions without an answer. 

A significant portion of parliamentary inquiries presented by ruling People's Alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also remained unanswered, with only 865 of 1,186 of their questions receiving answers. 

Meanwhile, two of the three inquiries presented by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were also left unanswered by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, the Interior Ministry, and the Health Ministry. 

The most popular recipient is Vice President 

The data from the speaker's office also showed that Vice President Fuat Oktay was the most popular recipient of parliamentary inquiries, receiving 7,508 questions from MPs.

Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül became the second most popular recipient of questions with 5,507 questions addressed to him, followed by Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli who received 4,020 questions. 

The Defense Ministry received the smallest number of inquiries, data revealed, with only 727 questions addressed by members of parliament. 

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca performed poorly in responding to questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, replying to only 597 of 4,005 of the inquiries addressed to his office. 

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responded to the largest portion of questions he received among his colleagues, giving a reply to 185 of 255 inquiries he was asked.