Turkish PM: Anti-graft operation is a smear campaign

Photo: Turkish PM: Anti-graft operation is a smear campaign / Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his view on Sunday that anti-graft operation was a smear and slander campaign saying, "National income would not have increased from $236 billion to $800 billion if there was corruption", Anadolu Agency reported.

The Istanbul-based operation that was launched on December 17 has led to the arrest of two dozens of high-profile bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen, including the sons of two former cabinet ministers and the head of Halkbank.

Addressing a large crowd in Manisa, a city in Turkey's Aegean region, Erdogan said Turkey's exports have risen from $36 billion to $152.5 billion since his government came to power in 2002.

"The total loss incurred since December 17 has reached around 120 billion dollars" he said." Who will give an account of this loss?"

The prime minister also slammed Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and by accusing it of cooperating with the ones behind the operation.

"The March 30th elections will be a milestone for Turkey and I want all of you to show everybody who owns the national will in this country," Erdogan told Manisa citizens.

"No one will be able to hinder this nation's will and Turkey's growth if God allows," he said by describing the allegations as "conspiracy."

He reiterated that the operation aimed to change people's perception.

Erdogan had said the anti-graft operation was a "dirty operation of dark alliances" from Turkey and abroad. He had also named a "parallel state" within the state trying to damage his government.

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