Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey made the statement that there was a serious question as to just how independent his nation’s judiciary should be. This clearly rhetorical question reflects the powerful prime minister’s pique at the extent of activity by a federal prosecutor who has been heading an anti-corruption investigation. Ironically the entire episode sounded exactly the same as what Erdogan and his party used to complain about military domination of secular institutions.
Politics aside, the action that pushed Erdogan beyond his professional restraint level was a summons served on his son, Bilal. This action was merely one of many directed at political associates of the Erdogan government, including cabinet ministers’ relatives, who had become subjects of the prosecution probe. Something had to be done and Erdogan came down hard. The prosecutor involved was removed from the case, but not until he had charged that none of the follow-up arrests to his interrogations had been completed and now the suspects were all covering their financial tracks.