2014 will be year of tests for Turkey's ruling party
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
The biggest political scandal of the past decade has occurred in Turkey, where one can say, the political situation is changing every day.
Turkish police have recently conducted special operations, resulting in the arrest of 52 people accused of corruption, money laundering, illegal privatization, smuggling and selling drugs.
There were some ministers' children among the detainees.
Then it became known that Istanbul's police received the information on these corruption cases a year ago. Since that time, phone conversations of several state officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were wiretapped.
It was also stated that a minister, who is not named for political reasons, received a bribe worth $ 1.5 million.
Another important event is former footballer, deputy Hakan Shukur's leaving the ruling Justice and Development Party. He will continue his activity as an independent MP.
It may seem at first glance that there is no connection between these events. To understand that the events are not accidental and are closely connected, it is necessary to recall the recent past.
About a month ago, a statement from the ruling Justice and Development Party about the closure of private educational courses operating in the country led to serious concerns among certain circles.
The opposition reacted to the decision of the Justice and Development party ambiguously.
After the emergence of the issue related to closing of private educational courses, it can be seen that the supporters and media associated with Fatullah Gulen, who is currently living in the U.S. but has a big influence in Turkey, stood in opposition to the ruling party.
By observing the developments, it becomes clear that the supporters of Gulen, working on the principle of "the greatest policy is political apathy", have used all possible methods against the ruling party.
The detention of some ministers' children as a result of yesterday's special operation, took the attention away from the arrest of the Halkbank head. This point shouldn't be ignored.
Against the background of the intransigence of supporters of Gulen towards Iran, the detention of the Halkbank head- who carried out financial transactions between Ankara and Tehran, can be regarded as a severe blow to the ruling party.
It is unlikely that the recent corruption scandal will leave the country's political elite unscathed. Obviously, this scandal will also affect the municipal elections to be held in 2014.
It is highly likely that in the municipal elections the Gulen's supporters will vote not for the Justice and Development Party, but for the oppositional Republican People's Party. However, it is hard to believe that the ruling party will be helpless in the face of "political methods" used against it.
Thus, we can say that 2014 will be a year of tests for Turkey's ruling party. Currently, it is impossible to say whether the Justice and Development will pass this test successfully or not.
Trend Arabic news service head Rufiz Hafizoglu
Translated by N.H., L.Z.
Edited by C.N.