Prosecutor in Turkey Graft Probe
Erdogan Suffers Setback in Attempt to Rein In Corruption Investigation
by EMRE PEKER, WSJ, Dec. 26, 2013
ISTANBUL—One of the prosecutors involved in a sprawling corruption investigation was removed Thursday after complaining that his efforts were being blocked, adding to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s woes as elections approach.
The embattled premier suffered another setback in his attempt to rein in the graft probe—which has targeted some close allies and already prompted a cabinet shuffle—when his move to curb prosecutorial independence was called unconstitutional.
Mr. Erdogan has accused prosecutors running the case of being involved in a global conspiracy to undermine him and the country and create a “state within the state”—and vowed defiance.
Late Wednesday, he replaced 10 of his 26 ministers, including one who was implicated in the probe and three others whose sons were involved. Rather than soothing worried markets, however, the move raised questions about what else might be coming.