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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid