Turkey military says ‘doesn’t want’ to intervene in crisis

The Turkish military says it “does not want to” intervene in the deepening corruption crisis that has hit the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The Turkish Armed Forces do not want to get involved in political debates,” the military said in a Friday statement.

The statement came after Yalcin Akdogan, a close aide of Erdogan, warned that the graft scandal that followed a high-level corruption probe could spark a military coup.

The Turkish military, which carried out three coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980, and pressured an Islamist government to step down in 1997, added that the armed forces would continue to carry out their “duties defined by law and the constitution.”

On Friday, Erdogan said the corruption probe against his government is a “smear campaign” planned by outside forces.

“There are outside powers behind this,” Erdogan said in a speech among supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the northwestern city of Sakarya.

“The target of the attack is Turkey whose economy is growing… and whose weight in the world increases,” added the Turkish premier.

On December 25, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle following three ministerial resignations over the controversial corruption inquiry. Two of the ministers resigned after their sons were detained.

The Turkish prime minister warned that he might expel some foreign diplomats involved in “provocative actions” against the Turkish state.

Turkish media reports indicate that Erdogan’s son will probably be the next target of the high-level graft probe.

Analysts say the graft scandal is a big challenge for Erdogan, who has pledged to root out corruption in the country.

By Press TV


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