How Turkey Put A Prompt End To Its Dramatic Corruption Investigation

Tyler Durden's picture


The main reason Turkey's government has been roiled with resignations, the Turkish Lira and domestic assets are plunging, the central bank is paralyzed, and pundits are ever more concerned about what the potential contagion effect is should the worst happen to the country, has been an ongoing scandal involving corruption at the very highest echelons of power as we reported late last year. So, what is a perturbed government, on the verge of losing legitimacy and credibility, to do? Well, following Stalin's advice always works: "no man, no problem"... if perhaps not quite as "terminally" then just as decisively. According to Reuters the corruption investigation has been brought to a screeching halt, after Turkey's government 'purged' both the judiciary and police systems, firing and transferring dozens of judges and officers and making it impossible for any ongoing investigative efforts to continue.

However, this may just be the beginning of Turkey PM Erdogan's problem: "Turkey's purge of the judiciary and police has brought a corruption investigation shaking the government to a grinding halt and could undermine confidence in state institutions, senior legal figures and the opposition said on Wednesday."

Reuters has the details on Turkey's decisive (if not yet final) "solution" to its problems:

Ninety-six judges and prosecutors were reassigned overnight, the biggest purge of the judiciary since a graft scandal erupted on December 17 with the arrest of businessmen close to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and three ministers' sons.


Erdogan has portrayed the corruption inquiry as an attempted "judicial coup" orchestrated by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose network of sympathizers, known locally as "Cemaat" (religious community), hold considerable sway in many parts of the state including the police and legal system.


The government's response, transferring thousands of police officers and seeking to tighten its grip on the courts, has brought sharp criticism from the European Union, which Turkey has been seeking to join for decades, and rattled investors, helping send the lira to record lows.


"Turkey is ablaze with the justice agenda," said Metin Feyzioglu, chairman of the Turkish bar association.


"Everyone in the country has started to ask when there is an investigation or trial what side the judge, prosecutor or police officer is on," he said. "The foundation of the state and the country's legal order has been shaken."


The roughly 120 judges and prosecutors reassigned since the graft scandal broke make up a fraction of the 13,000 working in Turkey as a whole, but the move has put sensitive cases on hold and shaken confidence within the profession.

The government's party line so far has been simple: as explained before, "Erdogan has portrayed the corruption inquiry as an attempted "judicial coup" orchestrated by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose network of sympathizers, known locally as "Cemaat" (religious community), hold considerable sway in many parts of the state including the police and legal system."

As a result, Erdogan decided to simply reassign the entire judicial branch!

Judges and prosecutors across the country - from Istanbul in the west to the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, and from the southern border region with Syria to the northern Black Sea coast - were reassigned in the move announced late on Tuesday.


The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), already headed by the justice minister and set to fall further under government control under a ruling party bill before parliament, said the 96 were being transferred to new locations. The government denied involvement.


"These appointments have absolutely nothing to do with our ministry. This is completely at the discretion of the relevant (HSYK) chamber," a senior justice ministry official said.

The police fared similarly:

Nearly 500 police, mostly in Ankara, were also removed from their posts and reassigned on Wednesday, media reports said, bringing the total since December 17 to several thousand. Erdogan's supporters say the police and judiciary are dominated by Cemaat sympathizers and that the government's actions strengthen not weaken their independence. Erdogan himself refers to a "parallel state" within the judiciary.


But Aykut Erdogdu, the chief corruption investigator for the main opposition CHP, said the purge had become so broad that many of those removed were not even linked to Cemaat.


"We've reached the point where members of these institutions are unable to do their job," Erdogdu told Reuters. "More important is the damage done to these institutions. It can take decades to build up competent staff to run the institutions of state. Moreover, it will take years to undo the memory of this among prospective candidates in the future."

It seems that the people, at least some of then, aren't buying it:

"While the government claims that it is fighting against a parallel structure, it is actually closing off the corruption investigations ... It is taking away those who know their cases best. It causes a great deal of harm," said Murat Arslan, chairman of the YARSAV association of judges and prosecutors.


"It is quite clear there is political intervention here ... they are quite clearly intimidating the whole of the judiciary. It is sending the message that 'you cannot conduct an investigation which touches me'," he told Reuters.

Welcome to Banana republic status gents... incidentally Turkey is way behind of the US, where no investigation that touches the people in charge is allowed, while any prosecution of corporate CEO that are deemed Too Big To Prosecute is promptly killed by none other than the Justice Department. The corrupt Justice Department.

But importantly, unlike the US where the myth that one party is different than another is just that, in Turkey the people do have the power to replace those in charge:

Erdogan has essentially banished the army from politics in 11 years in power. His popularity seems as yet largely unaffected by the current turmoil and there is no sign of the summer demonstrations that shook his government reigniting on a similar scale. He will, in short, be trusting voters will flee towards the elected power.

And if voters support him, well, they too deserve the government they "pick."

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Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:20 | 4356170 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I guess he didn't had veto powers like obama....

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:25 | 4356186 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

This is truly shameful. They should have to pay a licensing fee to America for that purloined information suppressing technology...

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:27 | 4356213 max2205
max2205's picture

Christie only wishes he could do the same....but then he'd go give me some turkey and Faagettaboutit

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:39 | 4356258 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

Look forward, not backward.


(‘cuz, you know, if you look backward, then you would see who’s shafting you....)

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:43 | 4356269 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Corruption in Turkey, here and whatever there...

Get used to it.


Hide your assets well.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:53 | 4356317 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

no, thanks. first, corruption is not "just anywhere, all the same, meh". second, it does not solve itself. Erdogan has crossed the line. that simple

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:36 | 4356519 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I did not say that, Ghordius.  I contend that there is some real corruption everywhere, of course some places are worse than others. Scandinavia, for example, seems to be pretty transparent -- low in corruption -- probably for cultural reasons.  And that is commendable.  But, I hear immigration is affecting Sweden, corruption will follow in its wake...

Yes, Erdogan crossed an important line.  "AMF..."

Endemic corruption is very hard to solve without bloodshed.

I did not red you.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:55 | 4356602 Leaf of Tree
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It's funny how the brutal murderous Vikings became the great-work-ethic-Scandinavians today.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:25 | 4356717 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

In that same light, the Japanese who brought us The Rape of Nanking, AKB48 and Hello Kitty! also have a pretty good work ethic.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:28 | 4356214 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Unfortunately in Amerika, the 3 branches of government along with the 2 political parties are all in it together.  Turkey is learning though.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:15 | 4356414 Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl's picture

Part of what Turkey needs to learn is how to create the illusion of 3 branches of government and a "choice" among parties.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:39 | 4356259 LibertarianX
LibertarianX's picture

I smell a rat somewhere in this story.....

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:02 | 4356630 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

Midnight express all over again.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:22 | 4356191 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

So, Turkey rioting to begin in 5... 4... 3....

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:26 | 4356211 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

They should jump right past rioting and start shooting at this point.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:38 | 4356254 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

seems to be the "in thing" these days. The...beautiful thing really...about the USA is that "we're not gonna go there." We're cheer on our Olympiads...and try and imagine how we got out of this one without clear and absolute catastrophic effect.

One day I look forward to writing a history about it.

And I mean that.

My working title is "My time on Zero Hedge...and how America survived too."

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:59 | 4356617 Leaf of Tree
Leaf of Tree's picture

Look at Italy. That's how USA, in the best case optimal scenario, will survive.

Except US will be without the great weather, history, culture, family values of Italy.


USA will be known as the Great Babylon that left the world the McDonald's, the Coca Cola, the Facebook, the GMO food..


I pitty the United Stateans that will survive the Great Holocaust that it's coming to the Whore of Babylon.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:46 | 4356284 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

So, goodbye Riot Dog, hello Riot Turkey...(sidenote; they might learn from these guys in Kiev, they're having Cop-B-Q's

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:41 | 4356541 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Damn.  Those cops actually seem pretty restrained - considering folks are setting them on fire with f'n gasoline bombs.

On a side note, I wonder if the Turkish version of "Riot Dog" a Kangal?:    

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:47 | 4356290 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Sould be straight to civil war.

Do not pass go, and do not collect,   your gold..

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:23 | 4356195 Greenskeeper_Carl
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Ha, he must not have complete control of his media. Its much easier that way, just ask the US and europe

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:36 | 4356239 Ignatius
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The big picture (el photo grande) with Sibel Edmonds:

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:56 | 4356609 LeisureSmith
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Erdogan's Fall From Grace

There, fixed it for you.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:00 | 4356620 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Weird that the link was bad, but thanks.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:25 | 4356202 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

In Merica they don't even have to do that... cops are so corrupt they will protect the government at all cost.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:42 | 4356773 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

I wonder.  All these words of analysis about this purge in Turkey, yet nothing on Obama's purge of our military officers.

I'm more interested in what's up in USSA than I am in ME countries, even tho the ME has powerful world effect.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 18:16 | 4356866 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Doesn't have to be cops either. CFTC dragged out the siver manipulation for years. "Nothing to see here," they said.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:25 | 4356205 Nels
Nels's picture

He should have pulled a Clinton, and simply fire the whole lot and hire new ones.  Then start investigating the folks who were whining about corruption, put the tax folks on the trail of any journalists who don't toe the line.  Everything will quite down nicely.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:12 | 4356666 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I had forgotten about Clinton firing all of the US attorneys when he took office.Thanks for reminding us.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:26 | 4356210 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"As a result, Erdogan decided to simply reassign the entire judicial branch!"...

Did AG Holder get a new job with the Turkish Government?!!!

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:29 | 4356218 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Watch him trigger a coup that he thought he was stopping.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:30 | 4356224 Sun and Moon
Sun and Moon's picture

Corruption investigation canceled by executive order. Executive orders are a really useful thing.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:30 | 4356225 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Everybody is copying the Latin Marxists. Obama has got it down pretty good. In the end, I don't think it will go over so easily in Turkey though.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:34 | 4356226 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

firing and transferring dozens of judges and officers

Here we spy on all judges, investigators and even their families.  Transferring judges and investigators is so primitive and so pre-NSA.  

The stunning implication of this passage is that NSA spying targets not only ordinary American citizens, but also Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and the White House itself. One could hardly ask for a more naked exposure of a police state.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:31 | 4356227 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

As a result, Erdogan decided to simply reassign the entire judicial branch!

Obama doesn't have too, as long as the AG and congress are as corrupt as him... which they are since he chooses the AG and at least 90% of congress is bought and paid for.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:32 | 4356233 Freddie
Freddie's picture

White House meeting today run by Jarrett to steal 2014 elections:


Erdgogan is an Obama boy.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:39 | 4356534 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture



The worst president ever is Barack Obama.

And Valerie Jarrett is his prophet.™


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:33 | 4356235 piceridu
piceridu's picture

It's pretty simple...this is who controls police, judges:

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:36 | 4356245 BlackVoid
BlackVoid's picture

I hope Turkey will suffer badly. They have occupied a huge part of Europe leading to misery and depopulation and now they want to join the EU.

NO NO and NO!

And they are a US puppet anyway.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:42 | 4356268 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

that's no puppet...of ANYBODY. Neither is Egypt...neither is Iran...neither is Saudi Arabia or Algeria. I will agree with those who argue "Planet Peon is not happy right now."

This is a VERY important journalist with an ENORMOUS amount of integrity.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:44 | 4356270 centerline
centerline's picture

Wouldn't joining the EU be punishment?

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:51 | 4356309 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

the real punishment would be joining the eurozone. even hard Englishmen balk at that idea ( /s, just in case)

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:39 | 4356261 linrom
linrom's picture

You wanted an Islamist, you can keep your Islamist.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:44 | 4356275 spinone
spinone's picture

Like the USA reassigned the FBI from financial crimes to anti terror after they discovered mortgage fraud, leaving financial crimes investigation to the Fed.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:46 | 4356282 Smiley
Smiley's picture

"If you like your corruption investigations, you can keep your corruption investigations!"

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:50 | 4356308 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

Sounds like the future plans of the U.S. Government to me...I mean hey, if it works for Turkey, right?

It's not like o-bomb-ya hasn't already started the process with a massive purging in the U.S. military and anyone who would oppose him.

The American sheeple wouldn't even know what happened if it ever came down to something like what Turkey is doing.  The criminal, state-run, propaganda, puppet media would smooth it all out for them.  John Stewart would do a "funny" monologue to brush all worreis aside.  And the sheeple can go back to shoveling GMO down their throats and washing it down with poison fluoride water. 

As long as the FSA (Free Shit Army) are getting their "benefitz" then they don't give a fuck how high, how deep, and how twisted the corruption is by their socipathic slave masters. 



Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:53 | 4356318 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Kinda of like what Obama is doing with the military here?  Get rid of those who oppose or can depose you.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:42 | 4356549 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yes, Obama firing so many top generals is a very grim development.  I can think of NO reasons why that would give me any comfort...

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 16:53 | 4356585 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

As it shouldn't DC.  He's gutting our military and building up his own personal army through the DHS(S) and Homeland (vaterland) Security, just as he said he would.  He wants allegiance to himself instead of the Constitution.

It's as clear as the lies spewing forth from his treasonous and traitorous mouth.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 17:47 | 4356786 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

Already Homeland Insecurity issued orders for metal detectors at the MLB stadiums.

Can you imagine - keys, pocketknife, change, phone, in a tray to go to a game?


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