Turkish authorities purge regulators, state TV employees in backlash against graft probe


Date posted: January 19, 2014

ANKARA

Turkey has extended a purge of official organizations to the banking and telecommunications regulators and state television, firing dozens of executives in moves that appear to broaden Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push back against a corruption investigation.

The authorities had previously reassigned thousands of police officers and about 20 prosecutors and fired some state TV officials in response to the graft probe, the biggest challenge to Erdogan’s 11-year rule.

Investigators are believed to have been looking into allegations of corruption and bribery involving trade in gold with Iran and big real estate projects, although full details of their charges have not been made public.

The prime minister says the investigations, which began a month ago with arrests of high-profile figures including the sons of three of his cabinet ministers, are part of an attempted “judicial coup.”

His opponents say they fear a purge of official bodies will destroy the independence of the judiciary, police and media.

“It’s like reformatting a computer. They are changing the whole system and people in various positions to protect the government,” said Akin Unver, assistant professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University.

Among dozens of officials dismissed in the latest round of firings, Turkish media reported Saturday that the deputy head of the banking watchdog BDDK and two department heads had been removed.

Five department chiefs were fired at the Telecommunications Directorate, a body that carries out electronic surveillance as well as serving as the country’s telecom regulator, and a dozen people were fired at Turkey’s state channel TRT, including department heads and senior news editors.

A government official said the firings were for “the benefit of the public” and that more could come.

Pictures of money-counting machines and reports of cash stacked in the homes of people linked to the graft investigation have caused an uproar among the Turkish public.

Unver said the aim of the purge at the telecom watchdog could be to prevent further videos and pictures being published on the Internet. “They are seeking [to impose] a monolithic structure over the Internet,” he said.

Several thousand people took to the streets in Turkey’s biggest three cities Saturday demonstrating against a government-led draft bill to increase controls over the Internet. The bill would give the courts the power to rule on removing online material that “violates individual rights,” an article that opponents say is murky and could lead to the arbitrary closure of Web sites.

In Istanbul’s Taksim Square, where police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, protesters called for the government to resign. Some chanted: “There are thieves around,” referring to the corruption allegations.

Erdogan has suggested that the graft inquiry, which has led to the resignation of three cabinet ministers and the detention of businessmen close to the government, is an attempt to undermine his rule that has been orchestrated by Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric with influence among the police and members of the judiciary.

— Reuters

Source: Washington Post , January 18, 2014


Related News

Fethullah Gulen promotes democracy (CBS News)

Fethullah Gulen promotes tolerance, interfaith dialog, and above-all: he promotes education. And yet he’s a mystery man — he’s never seen or heard in public — and the more power he gains, the more questions are raised about his motives and the schools.

Turkey’s development agency spying on Gülen followers in Latin America

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has been spying on Gulen followers in the Latin American countries. TIKA’s Colombia coordinator, Mehmet Özkan has admitted that the agency has been reporting the activities of Gulen movement in the Latin American countries to Turkey and Turkish embassies across the continent.

[Press Release] The Corruption and Slander against the Hizmet Movement

Prime Minister marketed the historic graft investigation as a “coup against the government” and he targeted the Hizmet movement by voicing this claim first in the pro-government media outlets and then in the election rallies along with a host of unthinkable lies and slanders.

Gülen and a new paradigm in the Kurdish issue

The Muslims, over the past nine years, have been the main dynamic of the change in Turkey. They have questioned their ties with nationalism, militarism and the status quo. These points that Gülen underlined are extremely important. He clearly and precisely identifies the reason of the problems and offers advice.

Bal asks whether Erdoğan is trying to suppress religious communities

Former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy İdris Bal submitted a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday, asking whether Erdoğan regards himself the Caliph of the Muslim world and whether the prime minister is trying to suppress religious communities in Turkey.

Government [in Turkey] replaces military in defamation tactics

LALE KEMAL A Turkish daily’s publication last week of a secret document dated to August, 2004 has sent shock waves through Turkish politics, which is becoming increasingly polarized ahead of the three elections Turkey will undergo before 2015. The secret document in question, published by the liberal Taraf daily, was about the once-infamous National Security […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Who is Fethullah Gülen, why is the Gülen movement currently being targeted by the Turkish government?

Gülen condemns Paris shootings, says all forms of terror deplorable

Journalists and Writers Foundation gathers all colors of Turkey at iftar

The Hizmet Movement and Solutions to Today’s Problems

Kimse Yok Mu delivered aid to Arakan Muslims

Is the Hizmet movement resisting normalization?

Third suspicious disappearance in a week: Teacher dismissed in post-coup crackdown not seen for 14 days

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News