Last week we took you through an emerging crisis in Turkey that will set the investment terrain for 2014. This week, we feel the subject warrants another installment as Prime Minister Erdogan, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the business elite attached to them become targets of a very focused corruption scandal that Erdogan may not survive—and that should shake investor confidence to its core.
A series of raids and 60 arrests have Erdogan thinking that he is the real target of the corruption probe—and he is not mistaken. This is what happens when you take on the Gulenists as we noted last week.
The corruption probe is targeting Erdogan’s allies first—those AKP fellows in key ministries, and key dynasties with whom Erdogan and the AKP are close to.
A day after the raids and arrests Erdogan reshuffled his Cabinet, replacing 10 ministers.
Erdogan’s reshuffle has only fueled the fires—similar to those that burned all last summer in the form of the Gezi Park protests—with the opposition accusing him of trying to create a secret “deep state” of authoritarian rule. Indeed, Erdogan is hoping that the new Cabinet will be solidly loyal during the ensuing probe.
The scandal is the culmination of a two-year investigation into bribery, corruption and gold-smuggling—and the timing is highly significant.
The Iran angle is getting the most international attention because…