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Another sensational scandal rocks Turkey

Pro-government dailies are reporting a massive wiretapping scandal.
A demonstrator hold pictures of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen (R), during a protest against Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP), demanding the resignation of Erdogan, in Istanbul December 30, 2013. Erdogan swore on Sunday he would survive a corruption crisis circling his cabinet, saying those seeking his overthrow would fail just like mass anti-government protests last summer. Gulen denies involvement in stirring up the graft case, but he regularly censures Erdogan, a
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Since the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power over a decade ago, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has relentlessly argued that single-party government is what this country needs to assure political stability and economic welfare. This approach has been more or less accepted as a reference to a February 2001 incident where then-President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, at a National Security Council meeting, threw the booklet of the constitution in the face of Bulent Ecevit, the head of the coalition government. That incident caused severe economic turbulence and led Turks to oust the mainstream political parties from powerhouse positions while giving the Erdogan government — which was new and untested — a chance to prove itself. Time, however, has shown that the threat to Turkey's economic and political stability is not one-party or multiparty government — or the secular or Islamist camp — but rather a weak democratic system characterized by the absence of true checks and balances.

The latest example that makes this point appeared in the headlines on the morning of Feb. 24 in the pro-government dailies Star and Yeni Safak. Since the corruption and bribery investigation became public in December, putting the Erdogan government under criminal scrutiny, Erdogan has been accusing the US-based Sunni religious leader Fethullah Gulen’s followers of hijacking the state’s key institutions, such as the judiciary and the security establishment, and forming a “parallel state” that aims to carry out a “coup” to bring down his government. Since the graft probe surfaced, the AKP government has reassigned hundreds of prosecutors and judges, and thousands of police officers, in a move unmatched in Turkey's history.

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