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.
Reuters
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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs