A statement from the Higher Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) said a decree from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKParti) government was against the Turkish Constitution. The Board was mentioning the government’s Dec. 21 decree, asking prosecutors to inform local administrative authorities about their investigations, which was supposed to be confidential
The heart of the matter is whether the [Turkish Government] corruption charges are valid. If they are, then there will be little to say other than calling all corrupt politicians to resign. Few people are interested in this factual matter, however, as the mother of all political wars escalate everyday with accusations, counter-accusations and unabashed partisanship.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and a former leading member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır said on Sunday that bribery and corruption have always been in Turkish politics and that there is a tendency toward the institutionalization of such crimes in the country.
At public rallies, Erdoğan has been floating a claim that a gang within the state is attacking his government in the name of corruption. He claimed he has evidence with regard to this group and wanted to expose this evidence soon.
Erdoğan has not offered any evidence so far indicating that such a group acting in violation of the law operates within the judiciary or police force.
It may be speculated that the EU’s resistance to Turkey’s European integration has to a certain extent played a role in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s slide into authoritarianism. If the EU had consistently backed its accession process, Ankara may have consolidated democracy and rule of law, so that such a concentration of power could have been avoided.
One hundred politicians who previously served in Parliament, including former ministers, issued a declaration on Saturday calling on the candidates in the upcoming local elections to declare their personal assets to the public to prevent allegations of bribery and corruption.
Nobody outside of Turkey understands why a government that claims to be innocent and portrays itself as the victim of dirty conspiracies uses every legal — and according to many illegal — means at its disposal to stop further investigations and punish those who gathered the evidence or wrote the indictments.
Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) Head Mustafa Yeşil said use of ‘parallel state’ argument against the faith-based Hizmet Movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen is reminiscent of Feb. 28 coup period’s practices, and represents a coupist and discriminatory approach towards certain social groups.
In terms of fundamental rights, Erdoğan does not tolerate any dissent or critical media at all. He publicly bashes reporters, labeling them traitors or foreign agents just because these members of the press corps are exercising their right to freedom of expression. Civic groups like Hizmet are unable to avoid his wrath as well and are easily accused of running “parallel structures” or “gangs” within the state apparatus with no shred of evidence to back these claims.
It has already been 10 days that Turkey has been shaking with the corruption scandal that has reshuffled the Cabinet and brought serious international consequences to the country, such as weakening the political position of Ankara in the neighborhood of Syria and Iran and strained ties with the US.
The problem is not to side with the Hizmet movement or the AK Party. No one objects to the fight against corruption. But it is not possible to argue that what has been happening is all about corruption right now. Tensions should not be escalated or provoked further. I believe that promoting reconciliation is the best option. If you ask whether or not it possible, I would say, “Yes, it is still possible.”
After the [Turkish] government took a new graft probe from prosecutor Muammer Akkaş – a move that could further cast a shadow over the corruption investigation – he told media that the case was taken from him without any reasons being cited, effectively blocking him from doing his job. “All my colleagues and the public should know that I have been prevented from doing my duty,” the prosecutor said in a statement sent to media outlets on Thursday.