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North Cyprus News | Impact of Turkey Scandal

North Cyprus News – Impact of Turkey Scandal

At Christmas, a Turkey Scandal could mean a problem at Bernard Matthew’s farms but of course in fact refers to the bribery allegations against sons of ministers of the ruling Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials AKP.

What makes this scandal so important is a recent development where an AKP minister close to Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, the environment and urban planning minister, Erdogan Bayraktar, said in a live television interview that he had resigned under pressure. He also said Mr. Erdogan was personally involved in unspecified property deals that are a focus of the investigation.

Rather than welcoming the investigation into bribery and corruption within his government, Mr Erdogan appears to have ordered the sacking of dozens of high-level police officials, and hundreds of other officers. Reports emerged in the Turkish news media on Wednesday that although prosecutors were pursuing other high-level officials, now the new police officials installed by the government had resisted pursuing them.

On top of this, Erdogan seems to blame the scandal on a foreign plot to oust him, particularly Israel and the US. This has angered the United States and damaged his relationship with President Obama. The State Department said attacks in the pro-government Turkish news media against American officials were “deeply disturbing.”

So, where does this leave north Cyprus? That depends on what happens to Erdogan’s AKP, that is rooted in political Islam but also included other partners, among them liberals and some on the non-religious right. These partners appear to have removed their support now. There were suggestions of the Islamisation of the north so perhaps a change in Turkey’s move towards de-secularisation would mean the same for Cyprus. But a power vacuum in Turkey during the Cyprus Talks could mean a weakening of the north’s influence giving the south more of a say about what happens there. Uncertain times, with Turkey and the north so closely linked, when Turkey sneezes the north catches a cold.

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