Denying the corruption accusations that brought his party under a disconcerting spotlight, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been lamenting press attempts to “throw the mud and see if it sticks.” He indirectly accused the judiciary of being taken over by the Fethullah Gulen religious movement, as well as acting as a subcontractor to foreign powers who, out of envy for Turkey’s political and economic success, manufactured this corruption plot to finish him off just as they tried to do at the Gezi Park protests in June.
Erdogan’s approach to this scandal, however, is best challenged — surprisingly — by his very own party members. Justice and Development Party (AKP) Burdur Deputy Hasan Hami Yildirim resigned on the last day of 2013, bringing the total resigned deputies from the ruling party to seven.
“It’s necessary to correctly identify the problem and the request,” he said Dec. 31. “The issue is not to cut short Turkey’s growing success story. The issue does not embed a conspiracy, foreign powers’ intervention, a mob or a gang. And it certainly is not a coup attempt against the government. In simple terms, the problem and the request is a call for democracy. The people demand that the ruling party not cover up these corruption allegations, but faces them, to come clean.”
Moving along to Kerry’s recent activities…
Naturally, it was well received…
US Secretary of State John Kerry held fresh talks yesterday with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas seeking to brush aside bitter Israeli-Palestinian recriminations and advance difficult peace negotiations.
After five months of mostly sticking to pledges not to air their grievances in public, the mutual distrust between the two sides has burst into the open with each accusing the other of trying to scupper the talks.
US officials have acknowledged a sought-after agreement on a framework to guide the negotiations forward would not be reached on this trip, signaling Kerry may return to Israel soon.
Kerry, who has made it a personal quest to reach a peace deal, is on his 10th trip to the region since becoming secretary of state in March.
On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accused Abbas of not being committed to peace.
Moving on to the Egyptian ‘Coup’…
With Sisi cracking skulls, Mubarak-style, he actually has the audacity to announce his run for the
Al-Wafd newspaper reported that Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi will soon step down from his position in preparation of his possible candidacy in Egypt’s next elections.
It was further reported that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian army decided in a meeting held last Tuesday that Egypt’s army chief of staff Sedki Sobhi will take on el-Sissi’s position. The reason for the replacement is to give el-Sissi a buffer period before the elections take place.
Can you say stuffed ballot-boxes…?
Anyways, in wrapping up, some more newsworthy links…
And, here’s a new acronymn to learn… From BRIC to MINT