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“Turkey fending off mini coup attempt”

31 December 2013 23:30

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Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan says Ankara is fending off a “mini coup attempt” by renegades in the police and judiciary.

Babacan also said on Tuesday that the recent tensions caused by a high-profile graft probe hitting the Turkish government serve the interests of “some foreign and domestic forces.”

Babacan has accused those forces of attempting to harm the country and damage its economy, saying, the fall in the country’s stock markets is the clearest indicator of the plot.

The value of Turkish companies has fallen by about USD 50 billion since the country was rocked by corruption and bribery scandals.

His words reflect an earlier statement by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who accused Fethullah Gulen, a scholar who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, of using his influence in the police and the judiciary to discredit the government and create a state within a state.

Dozens of government officials and prominent businessmen close to Erdogan were arrested on graft charges on December 17.

On December 25, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, replacing 10 ministers including the economy, interior, and environment ministers, who had resigned from their posts after their sons were arrested in the scandal.

Turkish media reports indicate that Erdogan’s son will probably be the next target of the high-level graft probe.

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