Tuesday 20 March 2018

Turkey's PM faces growing party revolt

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Richard Spencer

The Turkish prime minister's own ruling party has begun to turn on him as he tries to ward off a corruption probe that threatens his political survival.

Three MPs from Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) said they were quitting.

One, Ertugrul Gunay, left with an attack on Mr Erdogan over the handling of the crisis, which has also forced the resignation of three ministers.

"While the party was facing serious accusations, they tolerated the people responsible and ordered disciplinary action against those who were trying to get them to reason," Mr Gunay, a former minister, said.

Another of the MPs, Erdal Kalkan, warned that more trouble was to come. "This will not end here," he said.


The corruption investigation burst into the open last week with the sudden arrest of about 50 people -- three of them the sons of the three ministers forced to resign on Wednesday.

The main targets were the chief executive of the state-owned Halkbank and an Iranian-born businessman said to have masterminded the use of gold bullion to pay for imports of gas and oil from Iran.

The probe focused on the alleged payment of bribes to smooth the path of this trade.

Mr Erdogan has refused to accept the investigation and is particularly angered that he and his ministers were unaware that it had even begun. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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