By TRG Alerts Admin
The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group Alert Team will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. The Snapshot Report is intended to provide a summary of events on a given issue over the past week as well as a sample of experts who cover that issue. The Rendon Group does not endorse the positions on issues that the listed experts hold nor does The Rendon Group hold a position on any of the topics chosen for the Snapshot Reports. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
Turkey Corruption Probe
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times
This week’s snapshot concerns the anti-graft probe that has rattled the government of Turkish PM Recep Tayip Erdogan. On 17DEC, police began conducting raids and detained a total of 52 of people suspected of numerous offenses including accepting and facilitating bribes for development projects and security construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money. Protests broke out at the end of the week out in cities across Turkey, with demonstrators calling for PM Erdogan’s ouster.
News summary of events related to the Turkey corruption probe during the week of 23DEC-30DEC
Sample of Twitter handles regarding the Turkey corruption probe
@abdbozkurt – Abdullah Bozkurt, Journalist, Today’s Zaman
@erdierge – Erdinc Ergenc, International New York Times journalist based in Istanbul
@MahirZeynalov – Mahir Zeynalov, Journalist, Foreign Policy, Today’s Zaman, Al Arabiya
@MohamedHemish – Turkey correspondent for the Atlantic Post and Islamist Gate based in Istanbul
@Turkeyreport – Marc Guillet, reporter based in Istanbul, specializes in economics, politics, media
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Turkey corruption probe
Ersin Kalaycioglu, political science professor, Sabanci University
“Such accusations are only absurd speculations…In Gezi, he accused the Alevis, interest rate lobbies, opposition powers and international power groups for organizing the protests. And now, he’s trying to build the same links with this corruption investigation. What kind of twisted logic is that?” – Growing Corruption Inquiry Hits Close to Turkish Leader, New York Times, 19DEC13
Oya Ozarslan, Chair, Transparency International Turkey
“There is growing concern that the actions of the government could be considered as interference with the ongoing investigation.” – Turkey: Three ministers resign amid widening corruption probe, Los Angeles Times, 25DEC13
Kerem Oktem, Turkey expert and research fellow, European Studies Center, University of Oxford
“Now it seems the situation has changed completely…It seems the ring around Erdogan has gotten tighter.” – Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier, New York Times, 25DEC13
Atilla Yesilada, Istanbul-based analyst, Global Source Partners
“Forced to act, Erdogan tried to get rid of his burdens…But this is a political crisis, and it is hard to tell how it will unfold, these investigations may expand in coming months.” – Under Mounting Pressure, Turkey Premier Shuffles Cabinet, Wall Street Journal, 25DEC13
Brent E. Sasley, political scientist, University of Texas at Arlington
“This makes the current struggle over the corruption scandals so consequential. It is one part tug-of-war between the two main elements of Turkey’s Islamist-conservative movement, the AKP and the Gülenist movement (also known as Hizmet, or the Service), one part Erdoğan responding to what he sees as illegitimate criticism of his rule.” – How Erdoğan has reshaped Turkish politics, and what it means for current corruption scandal, Monkey Cage (Washington Post), 27DEC13
Sample of open source research by TRG analysts related to the Turkey corruption probe:
1. Three Turkish Ministers Resign Over Corruption Probe
Media: Voice of America
Date: 25 December 2013
Turkey’s environment minister has become the country’s third Cabinet minister to announce his resignation on Wednesday as a result of a high-level corruption probe.
Erdogan Bayraktar announced he is stepping down during an interview on NTV television. In the interview, he also urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign.
Earlier Wednesday, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler both stepped down.
2. Turkey resignations: Corruption or power struggle with Islamic cleric in U.S.?
Byline: Gul Tuysuz, Ivan Watson and Ben Brumfield
Date: 29 December 2013
Istanbul (CNN) — The government of key U.S. ally Turkey began to crack this week. There are rumblings that an Islamic cleric living in the United States may have something to do it.
But prosecutors in Istanbul have said corruption is the culprit.
Three Cabinet ministers resigned their posts Wednesday, days after their sons were arrested or temporarily detained in an anti-graft sting, semiofficial news agency Anadolu reported.
3. Turkish Leader Lashes Out At Corruption Probe
Byline: Courtney Subramanian
Date: 26 December 2013
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that he is the target of an unfolding graft investigation that’s led to the arrests of dozens of officials and shaken the Turkish leader’s hold on power.
Those investigating Erdogan and his government in connection to the mass bribery and corruption probe will be “left empty-handed,” Erdogan told reporters from Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet in comments reported Thursday, according to the New York Times. On Wednesday, Erdogan announced an overhaul to his cabinet, replacing 10 ministers just hours after three resigned over the corruption investigation that’s incited protests against the government.
4. Turkey PM Erdogan’s party turn on him as corruption probe deepens
Media: The Telegraph (UK)
Byline: Richard Spencer
Date: 27 December 2013
The Turkish prime minister’s own ruling party began to turn on him on Friday as he tried to ward off a corruption investigation that threatens his political survival.
Three MPs from Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), the moderate Islamist movement that has dominated Turkish politics for the past decade, said they were quitting.
Meanwhile public anger over the scandal spilled over into violence, as riot police clashed with anti-government protesters who attempted to descend on Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Police used water cannon, tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw rocks and firecrackers.
5. Amid corruption inquiry, Turkish prosecutor slams police
Byline: Gul Tuysuz, Talia Kayali and Dana Ford
Date: 27 December 2013
Istanbul (CNN) — A Turkish prosecutor has openly accused police of interfering with a high-level corruption investigation.
“Court orders have not been carried out and there has been open pressure on the judicial process from both the chief prosecutor’s office and from the police force, which is supposed to carry out the decisions of the courts,” Muammer Akkas said in a Thursday statement.
He spoke one day after three Cabinet ministers resigned their posts, after their sons were arrested or temporarily detained in an anti-graft sting, semiofficial news agency Anadolu reported.
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