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Watershed moment arrives for AK party in Turkey

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By Euronews
Watershed moment arrives for AK party in Turkey

For the outside world the recent events in Turkey are hard to understand, so euronews talked to Professor Talip Kucukcan from Marmara University. How does he interpret the crisis that has shaken the Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his government, and his ruling AK party?

The corruption scandal comes hard on the heels of a year which saw popular protests against the Erdogan style of leading, which after 10 years in power some say has become autocratic and repressive.

Prof. Talip Kucukcan:
“When we look at recent developments in Turkey especially those related to the corruption probe, it has two dimensions. One, the ruling party has grown so much during these last 11 years it cannot control all the people who joined it.
It is not possible to control the behaviour of everyone. So there is suspicion about the corruption cases.
The second point related to this probe is its timing. So, there is a corruption probe in which the evidence we have so far indicates some kind of corruption was committed. And the government is expected to come down on these people. But these things took place at a key moment in Turkish political life, just before the local elections. This creates question marks in the mind of the government.”

“Erdogan blames “foreign elements” for the troubles. How will this situation affect Turkey’s relations with the rest of the world?”

“Turkey’s relative success in foreign policy, especially its opening to the world, and its multi- dimensional foreign policy in the Caucasus, the Balkans and in the Middle east, was at times criticized by Europe and by the West.
In order to overcome these criticisms Turkey tried to improve its relations with the EU. But despite reforming parts of its legal system and synchronizing its laws with European norms, some nations in Europe criticized Turkey for its government, and for being part of the Muslim world. They alienated Turkey culturally. They said that Turkey is not part of the Western World. So, the ruling Justice and Development Party, despite all its successes is not wanted by Western countries.”

“Foreign investors are worried about the situation and fear the current uncertainty could destabilise Turkey and the region.”

“There has been economic and political stability in Turkey for the last 11 years. Everybody gained from this. It was a win-win situation. Stability is also important for the solution of Turkey’s chronic problems like democratization, the Kurdish issue and the situation of the Alawites. Turkey’s one-party government followed an EU reform process and started to deal with the Kurdish issue which is important for regional security. If stability deteriorates in Turkey, one, the business circles may lose, two; other issues may explode which could harm Turkey’s domestic peace and regional peace.”