News / Europe

Turkey’s Fading Economy Fuels Corruption Scandal

Turkey’s Fading Economy Fuels Corruption Scandali
X
January 14, 2014
Turkey’s prime minister is battling corruption allegations amid a power struggle that goes to the heart of the political elite. Analysts say the feud - which has seen three Cabinet ministers lose their jobs - was triggered by slowdown in a country long seen as a rising economic power in the region. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— Turkey’s prime minister is battling corruption allegations amid a power struggle that goes to the heart of the political elite. Analysts say the feud, which has seen three Cabinet ministers lose their jobs, was triggered by slowdown in a country long seen as a rising economic power in the region.  

Rival lawmakers started a brawl in Turkey’s parliament Sunday as the political feud intensified.

They clashed over a draft bill that will give the government a bigger role in appointing judges and prosecutors. The opposition claims it is an effort to stifle a corruption scandal.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cast the corruption allegations as an attempted "judicial coup" - and blames foreign powers. Speaking last month, he said propaganda has been launched against the government. There is a gang, a cabal plotting against the state, he said.

Far-reaching allegations

More than 10,000 anti-corruption protesters took to the streets of Ankara last week.

Gul Berna Ozcan of Royal Holloway University of London said the allegations extend to the top of Turkish business and politics.

“Corruption has actually been increasing as the economy got bigger and more affluent," said Ozcan. "The most critical part of the current government’s corruption index so to speak has to do with public procurements, municipal services, land planning, urban planning and privatization, in particular of former state assets.”

The scandal has seen three Cabinet ministers resign. Several police chiefs and 350 police officers have been fired. Dozens have been arrested.

Observers say the purge is targeting followers of a powerful conservative movement known as Hizmet, founded by a U.S.-based Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen.

“The Gulen movement, which is a form of solidarity platform, has also been part of this economic reallocation. Reallocation through privatization, municipal real estate arrangements… And they perhaps have been increasingly squeezed out of these big fortunes,” said Ozcan.

Faltering economy

An average economic growth rate of 5.2% per year during the last decade has helped Erdogan win three terms in office. But since 2011, that growth has begun to falter, said Fadi Hakura, Turkey analyst at policy institute Chatham House.

“Now that the pie is shrinking, each side wants to have a bigger slice of a shrinking pie, and that’s generating an enormous amount of feuding and disagreement between conservative forces in Turkey,” said Hakura.

Hakura said Turkey has become stuck in what economists call a middle-income trap. “What is important is productivity growth, the quality of human capital, robust state institutions, transparency and the rule of law. And on all these criteria, Turkey is seriously lacking."

And the latest corruption allegations spell further economic trouble, said Ozcan. “The rule of law is definitely in serious danger. No one would like to invest in a country where the judiciary is controlled by the government.”

Erdogan claims the allegations are false and aimed at derailing his bid to become president in elections scheduled for September.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid