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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid