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Erdogan goes on offense against corruption charges

The government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims a foreign plot is behind the corruption charges.
A demonstrator holds a shoe box, as a reference to what the media said are shoe boxes of cash found in the house of Halkbank CEO Suleyman Aslan, during a demonstration against Turkey's ruling Ak Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara December 21, 2013. Sixteen people, including the sons of two ministers, were charged on Saturday in connection with a Turkish corruption investigation that has struck at the heart of the ruling elite and threatened the authority of  Erdogan. The general manager

Since a secret two-year graft probe hit the surface on Dec.17 — bringing into the spotlight allegations that three sons of cabinet members in a close-knit network abused their fathers’ power and received bribes, tearing apart the government’s self-declared presumption of innocence in the fight against corruption since it came to power over a decade ago — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been on the offensive attempting to paint the scandal as a foreign plot against his government.

Speaking in Giresun, a Black Sea coastal city, on Dec. 22, Erdogan said, “In the last week, certain power centers in the security establishment have started to implement a conspiracy plot. They are setting a very illegal, ugly, and a very dark trap hidden behind corruption allegations.” He argued, “Turkey has lowered interest rates in the past 11 years and earned 642 billion [Turkish] lira [$307 billion]. The interest rate lobby is now enraged because this money would have been in its pockets. It lost that 642 billion lira. That is the issue. It wants to get back that money it lost in interest rates. It wants to rob and exploit Turkey.” 

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