Turkish Stocks, Bonds, Lira Collapse As Erdogan Fires Prosecutor, Asks "Who He Works For?"
Muammer Akkas, the prosecutor who complained his government corruotion investigation efforts were being blocked by the government - has been removed from the investigation. Prime Minister Erdogan's efforts to rein in "the final attack" on "new Turkey" are failing even after his cabinet reshuffle but this morning's rhetoric has sent asset prices tumbling once more:
- *'THE NEW TURKEY IS UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK': ERDOGAN
- *IN NEW TURKEY, SOVEREIGNTY CAN'T LIE WITH JUDICIARY: ERDOGAN
- *LAWMAKERS SHOULD AVOID REMARKS HURTING ERDOGAN: ARINC
- *ERDOGAN SAYS HE'S ISSUING LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST MEDIA LEAKS
As one analyst noted, "Erdogan continues to present the developments as a conspiracy despite having to shuffle his cabinet, which indicates that there may be some serious findings behind the probe."
Perhaps the finest example of total and utter hyprocrisy came this morning...
Erdogan, who removed the prosecutor from corruption case, just said: Nobody can put pressure on the judicial process.. ?
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) December 27, 2013
"My investigation as a public prosecutor has been blocked," Mr. Akkas said. "The judiciary has been openly pressured, and the implementation of court decisions have been prevented."
His removal doesn't end the case, as at least two additional prosecutors are still at work. Mr. Colakkadi's office has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation and said Thursday he would "do whatever justice requires."
Meanwhile, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, which issues final opinions on Justice Ministry proposals, sought to annul a government measure adopted Saturday that bars prosecutors from conducting probes without informing superiors.
"It is still unclear how deep the scandal is going to reach," said analysts led by Marc Chandler at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. "We remain bearish on Turkish assets, as we still think the political tensions could get worse before they get better."
At handover ceremonies Thursday morning, several of the departing ministers echoed Mr. Erdogan and decried the corruption case as a "dirty plot."
Outgoing Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, with tears in his eyes, blamed his ouster on the "interest-rate lobby"—an alleged cabal of international investors, economists and journalists seeking to profit from Turkey's turbulence.
"We stepped on the interest-rate lobby's foot. For as long as I live, I won't step on their foot but on their veins," said Mr. Caglayan.
"The overall impression is that Erdogan is preparing to strike back at the Gulen movement," he said, adding that the power struggle "has the potential to affect significantly Turkey's political stability in the months ahead."
But, of course, none of that matters because US equities are soaring... for now
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