News / Europe

Turkish Ruling Party MP Slams Government in Resignation

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2014.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2014.
A deputy of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party accused the government on Friday of “protecting thieves” and resigned from the party over purges of police and judiciary involved in a corruption investigation.
Turkish media reported that at least 700 more police officers had been reassigned over the investigation portrayed by Erdogan as part of a plot to undermine the country's economy and his government.
Muhammed Cetin's resignation was the eighth since the corruption scandal broke in December, though the party still controls 319 of 550 seats in the assembly.
“Unfortunately the AK Party has of today become blackened. It has become the architect of a process in which corruption is covered up, thieves are protected and the unlawful has become the law,” Cetin told a news conference in parliament.
“There are many members of parliament who cannot stomach what is happening.
Cetin is close to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of using influence in police and judiciary to engineer the corruption accusations ahead of local elections next month. Gulen denies any part in the investigation.
A photograph in the Hurriyet daily on Friday showed staff at Istanbul's main courthouse carrying boxes of documents which the paper said were from the offices of two prosecutors removed from the investigation this week.
The turmoil generated by the investigation and the ensuing power struggle has added to woes in Turkey's financial markets that prompted the central bank to raise interest rates sharply this week to support the ailing lira.
More than 5,000 police officers have been dismissed or transferred in total since police raids on Dec. 17 that led to the arrest of businessmen close to Erdogan and three cabinet ministers' sons.
In the latest move, hundreds of police were transferred from their posts in Ankara and Izmir on Thursday, and dozens more were affected in Istanbul and the southeastern city of Gaziantep, Radikal newspaper reported.
A spokesman at police headquarters in Ankara could not immediately confirm the reports, but Cetin condemned the mass transfers.
“Thousands of people and their families have been dismissed and transferred to other places in arbitrary fashion without evidence of wrongdoing,” he said.
Upheaval in judiciary
A similar shake-up in the judiciary has left the fate of the corruption investigation unclear, with some 200 prosecutors and judges reassigned, halting an investigation which Erdogan has called a “judicial coup.”
There is as yet no sign the graft scandal and Erdogan's purging of police and judiciary he sees as engineering it has produced any significant fall in his popularity.
The AK Party has won three elections since 2002. A hitherto-weak opposition sees local elections next month and a presidential poll later this year as an opportunity to make inroads into his vote.
When the corruption investigation first came to light, anti-government newspapers showed photographs of police removing shoeboxes full of money from an official's house.
The investigation has since faded from public view, and the removal of more prosecutors from the case this week has fuelled uncertainty about the inquiry.
The removal of the prosecutors was part of a reshuffle in which some 90 prosecutors were reassigned by newly appointed Istanbul chief prosecutor Hadi Salihoglu.
Erdogan's government has also relieved state employees of their duties at other institutions including the banking and telecoms regulator and the public broadcaster, firing dozens of executives.
Ratings agency Moody's said on Friday that pressure on the lira was likely to continue despite a rate hike of some 500 basis points this week, which it said had also significantly weakened Turkey's growth prospects.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs