A tiny fishing village called Garipce holds a clue to understanding the largest corruption scandal in Turkish history.
“‘The relationship between the construction industry and the AKP is straightforward: They get the big government contracts,’ said , a Turkish economist at Illinois State University in the town of Normal who studies corruption, via e-mail. ‘What is more important is their presence in Turkish media. These firms own the majority of the radio and television stations, and the AKP and Erdogan use these as propaganda machines.’
Sabah and other pro-government media call the probes politically motivated, rejecting any implications of corruption. Opinion pieces in the pro-Erdogan press don’t refute the allegations of corruption, arguing instead that these projects were awarded to speed up infrastructure investments, said Global Source’s Yesilada.”
The removal of the prosecutor, Muammer Akkas, is a new sign of a profound power struggle over Turkey’s judiciary and police forces.
“The prosecutor, Muammer Akkas, issued a condemnation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, accusing it of interfering in the judiciary and preventing him from carrying out his work.
Mr. Akkas said that the government had prevented the police forces from pursuing a new round of suspects in the widening inquiry. Among those suspects, according to several Turkish news media reports, is Mr. Erdogan’s son, whose name was on a summons that was leaked to the press on Thursday evening.
‘The judiciary has clearly been pressured,’ Mr. Akkas said in a written statement, charging his superiors with ‘committing a crime’ for not carrying out arrest warrants, and saying that suspects had been allowed to ‘take precautions, flee and tamper with evidence.’”
All of these claims by Erdogan re: the corruption probe should sound familiar (cough Gezi cough):
- The corruption probe is an “international plot”
- This new era is as important as the “war of independence”
- The investigation has been orchestrated by “gangs” and a “parallel state” (and CHP, the major opposition party, is involved)
- “This is not a corruption investigation, it is an open conspiracy.”
- National and international media are printing black propaganda
Photo credit: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images
“Erdogan and Gulen, a 75-year-old cleric based in Saylorsburg, , have been exchanging barbs since Dec. 17, when an investigation into official corruption ensnared the chief executive officer of a state-run bank, a construction billionaire and the sons of three ministers. In a video published on his website on Dec. 21, Gulen wished fire on the houses of the corrupt. Erdogan responded yesterday, saying he’d “descend upon the dens” of those hiding inside state institutions.”
, Bloomberg News