PM Erdoğan declares ‘independence brawl’ against plotters

PM Erdoğan declares ‘independence brawl’ against plotters

PM Erdoğan declares ‘independence brawl’ against plotters

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during AKP’s party meeting in Ankara, Dec. 25. AA photo

On the day three of his ministers resigned due to an ongoing corruption and graft probe, the prime minister declared “fight for independence” against what he calls “traitors and spies,” who plotted against the government, a growing Turkey, hand-in-hand with international powers. 

“Don’t forget; this process is the new Turkey’s fight for independence. This is that important. The plans of those against Turkey will be ruined in this process,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his address at a party meeting yesterday. Erdoğan’s statement came only an hour after one of the resigned ministers, Erdoğan Bayraktar, called for the prime minister to resign as well. 

Erdoğan called on his party to stand firm against allegations and to work hard for the local elections, which he sees of vital importance for his party’s future. “I openly say: If you work, Turkey will win. If you show neglect, then the entire Turkey will lose, national will will lose and our future will lose,” he stressed. 

Although his ministers resigned for the well-being of the probe and to relax the government against growing pressures, Erdoğan seemed to be defiant and continued to describe the scandal as a plot conducted by international powers in alliance with some national actors. Although indirectly, the prime minister continued to harshly bash the Fethullah Gülen community (the Hizmet movement) and accused some media organizations of spying for foreign countries. 

Erdoğan said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government never tolerated corruption and had dismissed wrongdoers in the past. 

“During the last 11 years, there have been many accusations and attempts at slander. We have removed the wrongdoers and we have patiently waited for those who had allegations against them to be cleared,” Erdoğan said.

“The smallest taint in our record will draw attention. And when it does, we will do what’s necessary,” he said, although he did not comment on the resignations of his ministers. 

Repeating his earlier arguments on the role of international powers in this “corruption plot,” Erdoğan likened the ongoing process with that of the Gezi Park protests of June, which came as a result of the historic success of the Turkish economy in May. Citing nine causes of international plotters to step in to stop Turkey’s growth, Erdoğan said the traitors’ efforts failed that time. 

“We should carefully elaborate all of these things. Because, I repeat it, this is not a national operation. It has an international dimension. On top of it, there is the international dimension and below are its contractors. This is not a simple issue,” he said. 

‘Peace process targeted’

For Erdoğan, one of the objectives of the current plot against the government is to nix the ongoing Kurdish resolution process. “On Dec. 17, a suicide was committed against our peace (process) in Diyarbakır. They have covered it with a veil of corruption to influence public opinion. Preoccupying the people’s attention with these corruption claims, they have set up traps to take the revenge of Diyarbakır, the Mavi Marmara, Oslo, Feb. 7 and Halkbank,” he said. 

Diyarbakır was the venue of his historic meeting with Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG); Oslo is the place where the AKP government and Kurdish militants have negotiated an agreement for peace, Feb. 7 (2012) was the date the pro-Gülen community prosecutors wanted to arrest Hakan Fidan, the head of National Intelligence Organization and Mavi Marmara is the vessel on which nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli commandos, which caused a huge crisis between Turkey and Israel in 2010. All of these issues constitute major points of disagreement between the government and the pro-Gülen community. 

Vowing to further fight against what he calls “gangs within the state,” Erdoğan accused some media members of spying for foreign countries without giving any names.