The escalating turmoil over corruption allegations against Turkey’s political elite is now threatening the ruling Justice and Development Party’s greatest achievement – Turkey’s economic growth. With national elections looming in the future, that threat could affect the party’s 11-plus-year hold on power, some local observers believe.
The scandal erupted in December following the detention of scores of people, including government officials, over the alleged payment of millions of dollars in bribes for state contracts. Ten ministers have resigned or been removed from office – either because of family ties to the scandal or at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s initiative.
Amidst an in-house political fight over the allegations, nearly 2,000 police officers and 20 senior prosecutors have been reassigned, while new investigations against alleged government misdeeds continue to be opened.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.