Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent anti-journalist crackdown had its origins in a December 2013 corruption scandal that ran right up to the heart of the AKP establishment. Rather than submit to the inquiry, Erdogan launched a year of purges of police and civil servants, claiming a Gulenist conspiracy to overthrow his government. Now, the last remnants of the original investigation may have petered out ignominiously. As The Financial Times reports:
An Istanbul court on Tuesday rejected appeals to pursue the charges against 53 people, including the sons of three former cabinet ministers. Its decision came against a backdrop of rising perceptions of corruption that are widely considered to cast a shadow over Turkey’s economic prospects.
In this case, though, the increasingly authoritarian AKP may have created its own punishment:
The Turkish lira hit record lows against the dollar on Monday and Tuesday amid growing concerns about the rule of law.
The “Islamic Calvinists” of the AK Party were elected on the dual promise of economic growth and piety. What happens should one of those pillars start to wobble?