Turkey – a failing state? – developments most peculiar

So…

You may remember the operation against corruption on 17th December 2013. It’s been widely discussed that the operation has been instigated by the followers of Fethullah Gulen against the followers of PM Erdogan. In that operation US$ 45 million was found stashed in shoe boxes in the GM of a public bank. The operation reached as close to Erdogan as possible: his son Bilal Erdogan. It stopped / was stopped there as part of the battle for power between Erdogan and Gulen.

Yesterday, a recording of phone conversations that allegedly took place between PM Erdogan and his son Bilal Erdogan on 17th December – the conversation is about how to get rid of the cash they have. The conversation is translated into English here: http://revolution-news.com/leaked-recording-turkish-pm-erdogan-instructing-son-hide-huge-sums-money/

There is no evidence that this conversation is genuine as far as we know. But as you can imagine there is a storm on the social media, and twitter reports at least two separate occasions where elderly people put their mobile phones on speaker and played the recording on public transport…difficult to censor that kind of dissemination.

The office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said alleged leaked conversations of him discussing hidden funds are fake — a denial that was ignored by opposition leaders who called for his resignation. Read this news here:

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-24/erdogan-resignation-demanded-by-turkish-opposition-over-tape.html

Unrelated (or related?) to this, the EU is surprised that the AKP government did not keep their promise to suspend the new law about the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. For Turkish:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/siyaset/44301/AB___Hukumet_bizi_kandirdi__.html

The EU is concerned that the new arrangements for the Supreme Board will mean it is heavily under the influence of the political power – which is against the Copenhagen criteria that underlies the communication about Turkey’s membership. Funny that – promises can be ignored…a bit naive of the EU!

Developments from the US are not so naive….this article is rather worrying, especially the reminder of Iraq

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/officials-urge-obama-speak-out-erdogan-anti-democratic.html

In the meantime, Deputy PM Bulent Arinc was in London last week. A group of only 20 protesters were outside the Chatham House where he was speaking on Thursday…the topic, you ask? But why, of course, what he knows best: democracy…The faces of his entourage were worth seeing…so worried, so, yes, even scared, of the 20 people (who to give them credit, did make a hell of a racket)…one really has to have loads to hide, to be embarrassed about, to be so scared of 20 people.

Here is an overview of some of these recent developments from a veteran journalist, Firdevs Robinson, in her blog:

http://www.firdevstalkturkey.com/turkeys-world/turkey-in-turmoil/

We must not forget: Gezi and the following is not only (maybe even not at all) about PM Erdogan or even his party AKP. It is about basic freedoms and whoever opposes them.

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