News / Europe

Turkey PM Says Recordings Fabricated

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers in Ankara, Feb. 25, 2014.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his lawmakers in Ankara, Feb. 25, 2014.
Dorian Jones
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a leaked recording of conversations he allegedly had with his son about hidden funds was fabricated. However, opposition leaders ignored Erdogan's denial and called for his resignation.

Erdogan angrily condemned an audio recording of him allegedly talking to his son Bilal about hiding large sums of money.

They published a recording that they have edited and dubbed themselves, he said Monday, calling the leak a "vile attack" against the prime minister of Turkey.

Following the release of the recording late Monday, Erdogan held an emergency meeting with his intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and senior ministers. The prime minister's office issued a statement saying it was part of a sustained campaign to unseat him.

The conversations are purported to have occurred last December, the day after police detained dozens of people, including the sons of three ministers, as part an investigation into alleged high-level corruption.

Devlet Bahceli, leader of the far-right National Action Party, described the recording as "mind blowing" and called on prosecutors to investigate.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, demanded the prime minister resign or flee the country by helicopter, saying he had lost all legitimacy.

Asli Aydintasbas, columnist for Turkish newspaper Milliyet, thinks the government may be able to contain the political damage. He says, "In theory they [the alleged conversations] are extremely damaging, but I am not sure people are hearing about it. On the airwaves you rarely hear proper allegations. Sometimes you hear the denial, but not the actual story. "

The prime minister claims the recording and corruption probe are part of a conspiracy against his government by followers of Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, was once an ally of the prime minister. The ruling AK Party accuses Gulen followers of creating a parallel state within the police and judiciary - a charge Gulen denies.

On Monday, the government claimed rogue prosecutors had been monitoring the telephone calls of 7,000 people, including ministers, journalist and academics.

Soli Ozel, a political commentator for Haberturk TV, says the Turkish state is now under threat.

"We are basically seeing the disintegration, the unraveling, the evaporation of the Turkish state as we’ve known it," he said. "Its institutions no longer have institutional integrity left. Its rules and laws are not really being observed. We don’t know which laws are going to be observed and which laws are not. And it's going to be pretty tense from now until the end of the March, when we have the local elections."

Analysts say that the corruption probe is a major challenge to Erdogan, who has been in power for 11 years. They are also say additional alleged recordings of the prime minister and other government officials are likely to be released ahead of key local elections in March.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: K - 74 from: Turkey
February 25, 2014 4:36 PM
you are watching the slow disintegration of a corrupt Islamic regime. I have heard the telephone call and so have so many of my Turkish friends... we know it was him... we know it was his son... Erdogan can not deny it without spitting in our face. He destroyed our Military - our proud military that obliterated the Greeks in one day... he destroyed our democratic institutions, he destroyed our close connection with Israel ( i hate to admit it but they are truly the Chosen People of God).
Erdogan is our badge of shame. Mr Gulen has predicted all of this. Turkey should be proud of Fethullah Gulen

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs