Anti-graft operation aims to change people's perception, says Turkish PM

Anti-graft operation aims to change people
# 29 December 2013 02:06 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday the anti-graft operation that was kept secret for two years, was launched with a 'perception planning' three months before the mayoral elections to change people's perception, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The Istanbul-based operation that was launched on December 17 has led to the arrest of two dozens of high-profile bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen, including the sons of two former cabinet ministers and the head of Halkbank.

Speaking in the western province of Manisa, Erdogan said a new attack against his government, democracy and national will has been launched recently.

"They (behind the Istanbul based operation) tried to create a perception that blackens my government by saying 'corruption and bribery scandal' and the biggest corruption of history' in media," he said. "Turkey's enemies and international powers are involved in plotting this operation."

Erdogan also accused opposition parties of being behind the operation.

Turkey is facing a 'multi-dimensional' and 'many-sided attack', he said, adding "Dark alliances both in Turkey and outside Turkey are working together to batter the country and to prevent it from further developing".

He described the anti-graft operation as "conspiracy."

"Turkey has paid off its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it will be able to contribute $5 billion to the IMF, becoming a creditor," he said. " If Turkey was a country of corruption it would not be able to pay off its debts."

Turkey's foreign exchange reserves increased to $136 billion from $27.5 billion since his government came to power, he said.