News / Europe

Political Turmoil Threatens Turkey's Government, Economy

Political Turmoil Threatens Turkey's Government, Economyi
X
December 27, 2013 5:11 PM
Turkey's government has been hit with a corruption scandal that appears to be part of a political rivalry. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London.
Al Pessin
Turkey's government has been hit with a corruption scandal that appears to be part of a political rivalry.

The scandal has brought protesters to the streets of Istanbul, demanding the prime minister's resignation. Many Turks have become increasingly angry in recent years over what they see as excessive moves toward Islamization. The alleged corruption rekindled their activism, last seen in a series of protests during the summer.

This time, the protests were triggered by allegations that let to dozens of arrests, including the sons of two cabinet ministers alleged to have been involved in payoffs for real estate deals involving large amounts of cash and gold.

Political Turmoil Threatens Turkey's Government, Economyi
X
December 27, 2013 5:11 PM
Turkey's government has been hit with a corruption scandal that appears to be part of a political rivalry. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replaced those ministers this week, along with eight others, but the moves failed to stop calls for his resignation. Indeed, one of the fired ministers said the prime minister should step down, too.

The government further stoked public anger by firing hundreds of senior police officials involved in the anti-corruption probe, including the Istanbul police chief.

Erdogan, who has been in office for 12 years, called the police operation “extremely dirty.”

He said police officers had “abused their authority,” and that the government was within its rights to remove them.

FILE - Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in this 2004 file photo.FILE - Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in this 2004 file photo.
x
FILE - Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in this 2004 file photo.
FILE - Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in this 2004 file photo.
The controversy has brought into the open the increasingly bitter rivalry between the prime minister and a former political ally, the reclusive Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in a private compound in the United States. He is said to wield significant influence in the Turkish police force and in the prosecution service.

A prosecutor was removed from the case Thursday after complaining that police officials were refusing to enforce court orders related to his investigation.

At the Cumhuriyet newspaper offices in Ankara, Utku Cakirozer says reduced confidence in Turkey's government and judiciary will damage the country domestically and internationally.

“As a candidate for European Union membership, Turkey pledged to comply with EU standards in all fields. And one of the most important is the rule of law and maintaining the freedom and impartiality of the justice system,” he said.

Turkey's EU membership bid is perennially on the back burner, and this scandal will likely help keep it there. Erdogan will struggle to restore his damaged credibility, especially if, as some have predicted, he himself becomes caught up in the scandal as it unfolds.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More