Anger at corruption scandal prompts Istanbul street violence

 

Anti-government protesters clashed with police in Istanbul on Friday amid public anger at the corruption scandal gripping the country.

Rocks and firecrackers were hurled at police who unleashed water cannon, tear gas and plastic bullets as they attempted to quell the demonstrations. At least 31 people, including three lawyers, were arrested, according to the Istanbul Bar Association.

The demonstrations and political turmoil surrounding allegations of corruption helped push the Turkish lira to new lows against the euro and the dollar.

The street clashes were the latest challenge to the government which earlier in the day had suffered another setback when a high court ruling thwarted its attempt to change the rules on how corruption investigations are instigated.

Public anger about corruption has been running high and was intensified by the recent arrest of 24 people  which forced three ministers to resign from the government when it was revealed their sons were among those detained.

The Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said the arrests were part of a conspiracy to topple his administration. His critics have in turn accused him of trying to stifle the investigation. Media reports have said the investigation is looking at alleged illicit money transfers to Iran and bribery for construction projects.

Fears that the scandal could lead to a military coup were raised when a close ally of Mr Erdogan suggested in a newspaper that it was a possibility, and perhaps even the intention of those behind the investigation, that the armed forces could seize control.

Three military coups have taken place in Turkey the last 50 years and Mr Erdogan has taken measures to reduce the power of the armed forces.

A statement issued by the military on Friday denied that there was any intention to become involved in “political debates” but warned that it “will keep on closely following the developments regarding its corporate identity and the legal positions of its members”.

The court ruling on Friday was a blow to Mr Erdogan because it blocked his attempt to prevent prosecutors from launching corruption probes without the approval of their superiors, many of whom, say critics, are allied to the government.

Before the ruling was made he accused Muammer Akkas, a prosecutor involved in the investigation that led to the recent wave of arrests and who reportedly wanted to summon Mr Erdogan’s son Bilal for questioning, of smearing innocent people and of being “a disgrace”.

On Thursday Mr Akkas had issued a written statement accusing the chief prosecutor and police of hampering the investigation. Turan Colakkadi, Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, responded by removing Mr Akkas from the case.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, condemned the government’s handling of the investigation. He said: “We have entered an era where the thieves are being protected and prosecutors who are going after the thieves are rendered ineffective.”

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAS Developer - DI Studio - Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Developer, Chester, Banking, DI Studio, £450-...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone