Turkey: Turkish lira depreciates to all-time low as graft probe erodes Erdogan power base

After last summer’s antigovernment protests finally wound down, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration was shaken by a corruption investigation in mid-December. The graft probe targeted a host of people connected to the ruling AKP party (Justice and Development Party), which included four ministers and the Prime Minister’s son, Bilal Erdogan. Erdogan denounced the graft probe, claiming that it was a plot to make his government fall. Nevertheless, he chose to reshuffle his cabinet and replace 10 ministers. In an attempt to prevent further corruption probes, the government fired hundreds of police officers that were involved in the investigations. Because the government lacks authority over the judiciary, judges’ and prosecutors’ positions were not touched. However, the government did send draft legislation to Parliament that would tighten control over the judiciary. If approved, the bill would enable the government to appoint its allies to key positions in the judicial system. In addition, the Erdogan administration plans to tighten its grip on the Internet by monitoring user activity and blocking websites that are considered to infringe upon privacy.

Read more about Turkish Politics.

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