News / Europe

Turkey Claims Foreign Influence on Anti-Corruption Probes

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters as he arrives at a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Feb. 18, 2014.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters as he arrives at a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Feb. 18, 2014.
Dorian Jones
With the Turkish government mired in corruption allegations, it has found an unlikely ally. Leading members of the pro-Kurdish movement are backing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's claim that he is the victim of an international conspiracy. Such support is attributed to the belief that Erdogan is key to ongoing peace efforts with the Kurds.

For months, the Turkish government has been battling corruption allegations involving, among other things, money-laundering. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cast the allegations as an attempted "judicial coup" - and blames foreign powers.

Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, normally a critic of Erdogan, has been more reticent in criticizing the government. Earlier this month, BDP parliamentary deputy Sirri Sakik even played down the corruption allegations.

Sakik said he did not care very much about the corruption issue, adding "If the money is not stolen that way, it would be stolen in some other way."

Observers said the reason the pro-Kurdish party was backing away from criticism of Erdogan was that the BDP was anxious to preserve ongoing peace efforts between the Turkish government and the Kurdish population.

The ruling AK Party has initiated a peace process to bring an end to the decades-long conflict between the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and the Turkish state.

Political scientist Nuray Mert of Istanbul University said the pro-Kurdish movement could pay a high price for its pragmatic approach.

"The picture that they give is like they are just focused on their own struggle, rather than considering the whole picture of Turkey. It makes the Kurdish political party quite irrelevant in the eyes of ordinary Turks. You are accepting this indecent proposal by this corrupt government in exchange of your rights and freedoms," said Mert.

In January, the banned Group of Communities in Kurdistan, which is linked to the PKK, issued a statement supporting government claims that the corruption probes are part of an international conspiracy to overthrow the prime minister.

The statement blamed a conspiracy of London businesses, along with Jews, Greeks and Armenians.

The declaration drew heavy criticism including from leading members of the pro-Kurdish movement - a sign that there are limits to their belief in a conspiracy theory.

But there are even bigger problems that may compromise peace efforts.

Political scientist Mert said, with the government mired in crisis, she questioned whether it was even in a position to deliver on peace.

"This political government can stick to power for some time. But it's lost domestic and international legitimacy, so has ceased to be an actor who can solve the Kurdish problem," she said.

The government’s room to maneuver is likely to be further hampered when Turkey's 18-month election campaign starts next month. Observers point out that many members of the ruling AK Party voters are Turkish nationalists who are skeptical of ongoing Kurdish peace efforts. This is likely to make it difficult for the prime minister to make major concessions to Turkey’s Kurdish minority in the near future.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid