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

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs