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Turkey’s December 17 Process: A Timeline of the Graft Investigation and the Government’s Response 25 juin 2014

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie.
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Silk Road Paper (CACI-SRSP) June 2014, 69 p.
Central Asia – Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program

Compiled by Hendrik Müller *

On December 17, 2013, an arrest wave targeted high officials in the Turkish government and their families. Fifty-two people were detained on accusations of accepting and facilitating bribes for state projects and receiving construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money. The accused included the sons of three cabinet members, businessmen, officials and the mayor of the Fatih district in Istanbul from the Justice and Development Party (AKP).The arrest wave is now known in Turkey as the “December 17 process”, marking the fact that this date formed a milestone, or watershed, in Turkish politics. It has led to a bewildering series of events that defy common assumptions about Turkey. Indeed, following this watershed, Turkey’s primary political fault line is now within the Islamic conservative movement, pitting the Prime Minister against the Fethullah Gülen movement, whom Erdoğan blames for the arrest wave – and for the subsequent massive leaks of private communications, including the Prime Minister’s own phone conversations. And whereas the secularist main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had long been at extremely critical of the Gülen movement, it now seemed to enter into a tactical alliance with the movement against Erdoğan’s AKP. As for Erdoğan, he had held up the domestication of the Turkish military as one of his main achievements in power.

* Hendrik Müller holds a Bachelor’s degree in European Law as well as a Master’s degree in International Law from Maastricht University. He lived in Istanbul for nine years. He is currently interning at the Turkey Initiative of the Silk Road Studies Program.

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