December 24, 2013

PROTESTS ERUPT As Turkey’s Crisis Deepens. “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finds his cabinet in disarray after a police corruption probe resulted in the arrests of high-profile officials and their family members. Erdoğan responded swiftly last week by firing top police officials—at least 70 at last count—but it wasn’t enough to quell anger over government corruption. The political crisis deepened over the weekend as protests broke out and the police intervened with water cannons and tear gas. . . . As usual, Erdoğan’s international conspiracy-mongering is mostly intended to deflect attention from the accusations against his government and to maintain his popularity across the country, which remains high at around 50 percent. But the signs of a rift between leaders of the AKP party, Turkey’s most powerful Islamist political group, and his former ally Gülen, who commands wide respect and has millions of followers across the world, could have serious implications for Turkish politics.”