Turkish President Gül urges respect for rule of law
Political uncertainty and rising risks in Turkey have moved President Abdullah Gül to use his traditional New Year’s message to call for the utmost attention to respect for the rule of law for the sake of the country’s future generations.

“We are a country which has been integrated with the world, which has harmonized with the European Union acquis to a considerable extent, which has become a center of attraction of investors and where capital flows liberally. In such a country, stability, trust and confidence in the future are determining factors,” Gül said in a message posted on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey yesterday.

“These developments are a product of political stability, good governance and disciplined work. As a nation, we should very well be aware of the value of the point that we have arrived and should exert efforts to leave a country in serenity which is economically and politically developed to the next generations. As such, we need to avoid stances and manners which would shake political stability and an environment of economic confidence, which will erode the democratic state governed by the rule of law, and which will disrupt our unity and peaceful coexistence,” said Gül.

A day before the statement from the presidential Çankaya Palace was released, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said the political crisis engulfing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had cost the economy $100 billion.

“Let’s do not forget that as equal and free citizens of this powerful state, we are all in the same boat. This boat’s way toward a more beautiful and bright future is our joint responsibility. When our society’s dynamic structure is taken into consideration, it is natural to experience problems from time to time and to experience differences of views regarding these [problems],” Gül said.

Arınç, speaking at a press conference following a Cabinet meeting, the recently reshuffled Cabinet’s first, also fired a new salvo against the powerful group that the government accuses of being behind a sweeping corruption probe that has shaken the very core of Erdoğan’s government.

He said the government was working on a legal plan against judges and prosecutors accused of wrongdoing or abuse of power – a reference to the movement headed by influential U.S.-based cleric and former ally Fethullah Gülen.

According to Arınç, the graft probe was a “plot aimed at tarnishing Turkey’s prestige at home and abroad” – a frequent government refrain since the scandal erupted two weeks ago.