Thousands Protest In Turkey, Erdogan in New Corruption Scandal

World | February 27, 2014, Thursday // 11:08|  views

Turkish riot police officers try to deter protesters during an anti-government demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, 25 February 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Protesters flocked to the streets of Turkish cities Ankara and Istanbul on Wednesday.

They rallied to express their anger at the government, which has been struggling with growing dissent and a corruption scandal over the past weeks.

Wednesday's protest was aimed at the controversial bill tightening controls on the judiciary that President Abdullah Gul signed earlier, Al Jazeera has informed.

The law gives more powers to the government in the naming of judges and prosecutors. Earlier this week, President Gul also signed a bill that would increase the Internet's state oversight.

In the capital Ankara, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Istanbul saw renewed demonstrations on Taksim Square, which is where protests erupted in June over controversial decisions by the ruling party.

On Tuesday, a scandal with audio leaks involving PM Recep Erdogan also led to rallies in six Turkish cities, with participants demanding the government's resignation.

A total of two audio recordings with the voice of the Prime Minister, allegedly proving his involvement in a big-scale corruption deals, were leaked.

On Monday, the first leak revealed the Prime Minister gave his son instructions on how to get rid of significant amounts of money after an investigation into corruption had started.

According to the new tape posted on YouTube on Wednesday, Erdogan is heard as he advises Bilyal not to accept a USD 10 M offer by a businessman, but to wait for a better proposal instead.

The recording was uploaded by an unidentified Twitter user who has been leaking voice recordings of high-level state authorities, Turkish newspaper Zaman has reported.

The latest scandal emerged days before the ruling Party of Justice and Development, known as the AKP, kicks off its campaign for local elections at the end of March.

Erdogan's office, as well as the Prime Minister himself, have denied the authenticity of both recordings, describing them as "fabricated by political opponents", namely Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim leader with strong ties in police and judiciary whose supposed "intervention" led to a corruption investigation on members of the ruling party earlier this year.

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Tags: Recep Erdogan, Turkish, turkey, Ankara, Istanbul, corruption, taksim square, Abdullah Gul


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