Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows to ‘cut off arms’ of corrupt people

Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows to ‘cut off arms’ of corrupt people

Turkish PM Davutoğlu vows to ‘cut off arms’ of corrupt people

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu greets supporters during the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial congress in Ankara, Dec. 25. AA Photo

Turkey’s prime minister has vowed to “cut off the arms” of those who attempt to engage in corruption, yet still describing last year’s graft probes as “coup attempts” during a speech Dec. 21.

“We are determined to cut off the arms of whoever attempts to embezzle our national resources, even if that is our brother,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in his address to the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial congress in Ankara.

“However, we will also stop those who attempted to attack the national will with false claims of corruption,” he added.

The prime minister said the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25, 2013 operations were coup attempts against the government and were led by the parallel structure, stressing that the fight against corruption has always been one of the fundamental pillars of AKP governments since 2002.

Turkey to renew charter after polls

The government will redouble its efforts to renew the country’s junta-written Constitution in the aftermath of parliamentary elections to be held in June 2015, the prime minister also vowed, promising it would be a way to institutionalize an understanding of democracy based on human rights.

“We will hit the road after the June 2015 elections for the new Constitution in order to ensure all of our constitutional institutions as well as our politics and our justice fall into place. We will hopefully submit this new Constitution that will institutionalize our understanding of democracy based on human rights while heading for 2023,” Davutoğlu said.  

In the aftermath of the 2011 elections, the four parties that gained representation in Parliament formed a commission tasked with rewriting the Constitution but could produce only 60 articles before its mandate was terminated by the Parliament Speaker’s Office after two years of work. The AKP is hoping to win at least 330 seats in the upcoming elections in order to be able to draft its own Constitution. The ruling party is hoping to change the current parliamentary system into a presidential one.

Another important subject Davutoğlu mentioned in his long address was the Dec. 14 operation against the “parallel structure” that resulted in the detention of prominent journalists, like Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, and Hidayet Karaca, the head of Samanyolu TV. Both are known to be part of the Fethullah Gülen community.  

Reiterating that the operation was a judicial one and had nothing to do with politics, Davutoğlu said the figures were charged with plotting against another religious community whose leader spent 17 months in prison on fake evidence.  

“Therefore, this case is about human rights,” Davutoğlu said, adding that the operation was launched after the sufferers of the plot issued a complaint.

Slamming the European Union for describing the Dec. 14 operation as a move against freedom of press without making a necessary investigation on the case and for issuing a speedy statement the same day, the prime minister said: “Some circles abroad immediately got mobilized. The EU made a statement even on Sunday. With this statement, they launched a dirty campaign against Turkey and our government. I repeat once again: These operations have nothing to do with press freedom.”