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AK Party power struggle tears at Turkish government

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AK Party power struggle tears at Turkish government
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The Turkish government appears to be in deep crisis after three resignations from the cabinet and the prime minister reshuffling half his 20 ministers, installing loyalists to key jobs.

Now a public prosecutor has accused the police of obstructing his investigation into a high-level corruption case. The government says it is a “foreign orchestrated plot”.

“I think it is funny, irrelevant, and unnecessary,” said Professor Riva Kastoryano, the Research Director of CERI Political Science in Paris. “This is how you pass yourselves off as victims. The government is trying to show they did nothing, none of the ministers did anything wrong. When they talk about Israel, or the US, they show themselves as victims. In Europe this is not acceptable. What will be the effect on domestic politics? They are looking for positives which will sway people who have blind confidence in them, who voted for them. Because the final objective is the coming local elections.”

euronews: “The judiciary will play a leading role here, won’t it?”

Kastoryano: “Of course, our expectations of the legal system are very high. Unless there is no intervention from above. If that is the case the situation in Turkey will be terrible.”

The events of the last few days have set Turkish tongues wagging with many saying this is the worst crisis in the AK party’s 10 years in power. And after years of being subject to critical pressure and alleged plots from outside, the danger appears to be coming from within.

“I partially agree with the Prime Minister but also I want to add, ‘If you change the settings on a scale, one day it will weigh you’. This Turkish proverb means Erdogan was the one who made the police and judiciary into what it is today, so he really shouldn’t be complaining. Right now, we have two choices: either the AK Party, or Fethullah Gulen’s ‘Movement’ taking it over. But we want a third choice. We don’t want either of them. There’s a power struggle going on, we know that, but we don’t want to be a part of it,” says one Istanbul resident.

Note: Fethullah Gulen is a powerful and influential Turkish spiritual leader without whose support, claim some, it is impossible to win a Turkish election. His movement, said to advocate a moderate and modern form of Islam, is said to have extensive influence in the Turkish police and judiciary – the epitome of what some claim is a “deep” or “secret” state-within-a-state in Turkey. Self-exiled in America, Gulen was previously allied with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and helped bring him to power, but has since turned against him. He has been accused of working behind the scenes to gain political power – a claim his supporters reject.