World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday labelled the anti-graft probe launched December 17 "a coup attempt under the guise of corruption."
Referring to the Istanbul-based anti-graft operations that have shaken the country, the Turkish prime minister called the entire investigation a conspiracy against a successful Turkey, and he asserted that it targeted not the Turkish government or the ruling AK Party, but Turkey itself.
"The December 17 process aimed at hitting several targets with only one anti-graft probe," Erdogan said. "We all see that the content and the packaging of the probe are totally different."
The cover of the corruption probe, Erdogan claimed, involves a "smear campaign of corruption while its content is sabotage against democracy, national will and politics, especially in terms of the solution process and our foreign policy, as it has recently been revealed."
The prime minister made his comments as he addressed Turkey’s official representatives from around the world, who have flown back to Turkish capital for their 6th annual gathering, in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Touching on the draft law proposing a restructring of the Turkish Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, Erdogan asserted that Turkish government's main goal by making amendments was not to interfere with the judiciary but to fight against an illegal organization within the judicial bodies.
Also, Erdogan slammed allegations that his government has aided terrorist groups, saying that "neither Turkey nor the goverment can be badly affected by the accusation and slander that we support terrorism."
The prime minister also said Turkey doesn't keep secrets in its foreign policy. "Turkey is a country that acts with principles, not secret intentions or agendas," he said.
He added that Turkey had great respect for the borders of every country.
"Our friends and especially our neighbors should be sure of us and our friendship to the end," he said. "However, we cannot imprison humanitarian and conscientious feelings, and especially foreign policy, within physical borders. We can not remain unresponsive to peoples with whom we lived together, within same borders, a hundred years ago.”
The prime minister told the ambassadors that a foreign policy in which Turkey turns its back on Yemen, remains indifferent to Myanmar and is not interested in the Palestinian cause could not be built.
Erdogan also praised the Anadolu Agency and Turkey's state broadcaster TRT, saying they have become the voice of Turkey globally with their international networks.
The government uses the meeting to update the envoys on Turkey’s domestic and international policies.
EU asks Turkey to be transparent in judicial change
The European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule met Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mevlut Cavusoglu for an "open and constructive" first meeting in his new position as Chief Negotiator in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
Cavusoglu reportedly informed Commissioner Fule about recent developments in Turkey and Fule commented that "Last year brought the momentum back to these negotiations" and added that "It is precisely because of the importance of our relations that we discussed openly our concerns regarding the independence and impartiality of the judiciary."
He recalled that in his previous statement he said that the European Commission expected Turkey, as a candidate country committed to the political criteria for accession, to take all necessary measures to ensure the recent allegations of corruption are addressed without discrimination or preference in a "transparent and impartial manner".
Fule requested Cavusoglu to convey EU's message to Ankara that they are concerned that "any change to the judicial system must not call into question Turkey's commitment regarding the Copenhagen political criteria."
The European Commission will review the provisions of the latest draft legislation on the judiciary in Turkey and will share its views with the Turkish authorities before any vote on the draft law.Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2014, 17:59