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Hurriyet has a piece today on the EU getting fed up with Turkey and Turkey’s attitude towards European values of freedom, freedom from censorship, freedom of information etc.
Amongst other things an EU delegation to Ankara has said (in regards to opening new chapters for Turkey’s EU accession bid)…
“That could happen in a normal-functioning negotiation process, but after witnessing the Turkish government’s move with regard to the HSYK Law, there is not much appetite left for such gestures,” the diplomat said. “There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey.”
The list of things that are happening and have happened in Turkey over just the last year are surely enough for any genuine appetite for Turkey to join the EU to be over.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has now approved the controversial Internet laws that allow sites to be blocked immediately without the need for a court order that was earlier passed in parliament following a fight by MPs.
Other major factors are the new judiciary rules, limiting their power and giving more power to the government, a serious attack on democracy in the country.
These moves by the AKP government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan come after members of his government and their family members where investigated for corruption in which 4.5 million dollars where found in shoe boxes at the house of former Halkbank general manager, Halkbank is state-run.
The government responded by sacking and relocating over 5,000 police officers and investigators in a great purge.
What now does the future hold for Turkey? Will it now as many Turkish secularists think, turn towards an Islamic Republic like Iran? An alliance with Russia? Upcoming elections could be interesting but no doubt they will actually lead to another AKP victory.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing fresh calls to resign – as his government faces a wide-reaching corruption scandal, which has exposed the country’s deep institutional divisions.
Hundreds of people across Turkey took part in anti-government demonstrations on Thursday, December 26. Protests were held in Istanbul and several other cities including Izmir and Adana.
In a controversial move, Turkish prosecutor Muammer Akkas was removed from the high-level graft case, which has led to the arrests of the sons of two of Erdogan’s government ministers.
Akkas accused the police of obstructing the investigation, saying: “by means of the police force, the judiciary was subjected to open pressure and the execution of court orders was obstructed.”
However, Chief Prosecutor Turhan Colakkadi told reporters that Akkas had been removed from the case for leaking information to the media and failing to provide timely progress updates.
“Nothing can be covered up. Regardless of who the criminals are, or whose children are involved, we will not allow for the judiciary to be eroded,” Colakkadi said.
Erdogan, who has replaced half of his cabinet with loyalists in a reshuffle, says he believes he is the “real target” of the probe.
There are Turkish media reports that the corruption investigation could be set to reach members of Erdogan’s own family.
Zafer Caglayan, the Turkish Economy minister and Muammer Guler, the Turkish Interior minister whose sons have been arrested on corruption charges plus Environment minister Erdogan Bayraktar have resigned today.
As they resigned they hit out at the police anti-corruption probe as a dirty operation against the Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They accepted no blame and denied all allegations.
The Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar said the prime minister should also step down as he announced his resignation.
In response to the police operation, a number of police commissioners have been sacked, including the head of police in Istanbul.
Meanwhile PM Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to break the hands of anyone who attempts to use the ongoing corruption scandal against the government.
It often seems like the European Unions patience with Turkey will go on forever, tolerating the blatant lack of democracy, human rights abuses, the illegal occupation of Cyprus and support of Islamic dictators.
So much to the delight of many both inside and outside of Turkey the EU has finally been more direct with its criticisms of Turkey and its leader Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his interference in the current high-level corruption probe griping the country.
“The latest developments, including the sacking of police chiefs and the instructions to police to inform authorities on investigations, raise serious concerns as regards the independence, efficiency and impartiality of the investigations and the separation of powers,” said a spokesman for Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement.
More of this from Hurriyet click here.
The Telegraph furthers this by also saying about the ongoing protests and riots on the streets of Turkey’s main cities.
From the Telegraph:
Mr Erdogan has sacked around 1000 police officers who were helping to carry out a bribery inquiry that engulfed the upper echelons of his party last week.
Other officers have now been ordered to brief government officials on the progress of the corruption probe, which critics say will allow suspects to be tipped off in advance.
While the prime minister claims that the probe is part of a politically-motivated smear campaign, the inquiry has already led to a repeat of the anti-government rallies that took place earlier in the summer.
On Monday, the European Union warned Mr Erdogan that he was in direct breach of EU rules safeguarding the independence of the judiciary, which is also a key condition for Turkey’s EU membership bid.