Chronology: Turkey

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Turkey


See also Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria

Jan. 16: The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors reassigned the chief prosecutor of Istanbul and 20 other high-ranking prosecutors. The prosecutors were working on a wide-ranging corruption inquiry that implicated the prime minister's inner circle. [NYT, 1/16]

Jan. 17: President Abdullah Gül signed a bill into law that made it a crime to administer emergency first aid without government authorization. Human rights and medical groups objected to the law, fearing it would be used to punish doctors for treating anti-government protestors. Under the law, violators faced up to three years in prison and fines of up to $1 million. [NYT, 1/17]

Jan. 18: Turkish authorities seized the assets of Mustafa Sarigül, the mayor of the Istanbul neighborhood of Sisli who was running for mayor of Greater Istanbul, due to a $3.5 million loan from 1998 that he and nine other creditors did not repay. Sarigül was scheduled to run for election in March as the main opposition to the incumbent mayor, Kadir Topbas. [Daily Star, 1/18]

Jan. 22: The government fired or reassigned approximately 500 police officers the day after 100 judges and prosecutors were relocated. The government said the changes were a genuine attempt to get rid of a parallel state influenced by the Gülen movement, a religious network lead by exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, while critics said their purpose was to thwart an ongoing corruption investigation. [NYT, 1/22]

Feb. 12: A Turkish court sentenced 17 protestors to two years in jail for insulting Prime Minister Erdogan. The protestors were arrested in Eskisehir in 2012 for chanting slogans that insulted a civil servant. The court said the defendants were not entitled to appeal the decision. [Daily Star, 2/12]

Feb. 14: A former chief executive of Turkey's state-owned Halkbank, who was detained in December as part of a widening graftinquiry, was released. Dozens of prominent business people were detained in the corruption investigation, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said was a plot to undermine him. Erdogan reassigned thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors in an effort to cleanse the system. [Reuters, 2/14]

Feb. 24: A leaked conversation surfaced online in which Prime Minister Erdogan appeared to order his son to move tens of millions of dollars out of his house on December 17 - the same date that authorities raided the homes of three former ministers' sons. Erdogan dismissed the audio clip as a fabrication. Opposition leaders called for the prime minister to resign. [NYT, 2/25]

Feb. 28: Parliament voted to close private schools by September 1, 2015. The move was part of the backlash in an ongoing corruption scandal as many of the schools were connected to an exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, who the prime minister believed was behind the burgeoning scandal. [Reuters, 3/1]

Mar. …

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