Reuters reports: The Turkish prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, declared victory for his party in local polls and said he would “enter the lair” of enemies who have accused him of corruption and leaked state secrets. “They will pay for this,” he said.
Erdogan, fighting the biggest challenge of his 12-year rule, addressed supporters from a balcony at AKP headquarters, after the end of a long and bitter election campaign in which he had labelled his opponents “terrorists” and an “alliance of evil”.
The harsh tone of his balcony address suggested he felt he now had a mandate for strong action against his enemies. “From tomorrow, there may be some who flee,” he said.
The election campaign has been dominated by a power struggle between Erdogan and a moderate US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of using a network of followers in the police and judiciary to fabricate accusations of corruption in an effort to topple him. Erdogan has purged thousands of police and hundreds of judges and prosecutors since anti-corruption raids in December targeting businessmen close to him and sons of ministers.
“We will enter their lair,” he said. “They will pay the price, they will be brought to account. How can you threaten national security?” [Continue reading…]