News / Europe

Turkish PM Threatens to Sue Over Wikileaks Claims

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkey's prime minister is threatening to sue over the recently released diplomatic cables on the website WikiLeaks.

A cable written by former U.S. Ambassador Eric Edelman that alleged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had eight Swiss bank accounts,  struck a deep nerve.  

Speaking to his supporters, Mr. Erdogan did not hold back his fury.

"Those who have slandered us will be crushed under these claims, will be finished and will disappear," he said.

The prime minister went on to with more threats.

"My friends are working against these diplomats in terms of national and international law," he said.  "We have discussed these issues with the U.S. administration. They have extended their apologies, but it is not enough. They have to take all necessary measures against these diplomats."

The prime minister even offerred to resign from office and from parliament if the claims were proven to be true.

Main opposition party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has made a name in politics by exposing government corruption.  Since heading the party he has focused on Mr. Erdogan and now believes the moment of truth has come for the prime minister:

He says, "we are waiting for the prime minister to file a lawsuit for damages against the United states and to take these claims to the international arena."  

Analysts say Kilicdaroglu believes he has cornered the prime minister because Mr. Erdogan, along with his party, have been mired in allegations of corruption.   And, the U.S. cable allegations have put those accusations back in the headlines.

Political Columnist Murat Yetkin says things could worsen for the government.

"If there are more corruption claims to be revealed by  WikiLeaks  of course it may put the government in a difficult position," said Yetkin. " And the government is very sensitive on the issue and trying to divert the attention from the corruption claims to the foreign policy."

But, some government officials have a different take on the leaks.  Government spokesman Huseyin Celick claims they could be  an Israeli conspiracy against Turkey.  That suspicion was echoed by Turkish President Abdullah Gul who said Israel is benefiting from the leaks.

On the streets of Istanbul,  some are not convinced the accusations are true.

"I did not see the bank accounts or any documents about it, I cannot say it is definite, but maybe. Why not?" Said one person.

"He is a rich guy, but I do not think he has an account in Switzerland," said another.

"The US diplomats are doing their job, they heard some gossip and they must report this and they did their job," a third person said. "I believe some of them [are] true, includ[ing the] bank account. But I guess our prime minister could not open in his name, maybe some family members for him."

With a general election less than a year away, analysts say the leaked cables have rattled the prime minister.  But they also warn with thousands more cables on Turkey expected to be leaked in the coming weeks and months, these are anxious times for the government.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid