Turkey’s top Islamic scholar gives green light to bribe payments

One of Turkey’s leading scholars of  Islamic jurisprudence, in a column he penned for a pro-government daily, said that bribe payments are religiously permissible.

 Hayrettin Karaman, in his column in Yeni Şafak daily on Sunday, said bribery is permissible for those giving it, while forbidden for those receiving it.

Citing the work of Professor Mustafa Şelebî' titled ‘’Ta’lihu’l-Ahkâm’’ in his argument, Karaman said:

‘’If the amir, governor or sultan does not sign your documents with the bribe you have paid, granting you your wish, or implementing an order, and you don’t die in one week or 24 hours and [consequently] lose a legitimate benefit and you can no longer take advantage of, then Islamic jurisprudence deems this as a necessity and says that says you can pay a bribe.’’

 ‘’This [bribe payment] is permissible for you,’’ Karaman said. ‘’But impermissible for the other side.’’ 

Karaman, known for his close relations with Turkey’s leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) and his controversial rulings, on Friday had said that it is Islamically permissible for the state to seize the possessions of its citizens.