Erdogan accussed of ‘deep state’ government

Turkish prime minister is under hot water again after naming his new cabinet

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Turkey's opposition accused Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday of trying to rule through a secretive “deep state” after a cabinet reshuffle places allies close to the premiere’s side.

Among the 10 new ministers Erdogan named Wednesday is Efkan Ala, a former governor of the Diyarbakir province now charged with controlling the Interior portfolio and overseeing Turkish domestic security.

Ala replaces Muammer Guler, one of three cabinet members who resigned after the graft probe on Dec. 17.

Guler, like Erdogan has called the allegations baseless after firing dozens of police officers involved in the case, including the chief of the force in Istanbul.

"He (Erdogan) is trying to put together a cabinet that will not show any opposition to him. In this context, Efkan Ala has a key role," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the biggest opposition party CHP, said in remarks carried by Turkish media.

Kilicdaroglu, using a term that for Turks denotes a shadowy power structure unhindered by democratic checks and balances.

"Erdogan has a deep state, (his) AK Party has a deep state and Efkan Ala is one of the elements of that deep state," he added.

Vowing no tolerance for corruption, Kilicdaroglu said on Wednesday graft investigation was tainted by foreign interests.

Erdogan has largely transformed Turkey over the course of his three terms in office, mainly cutting back its once famous secular military and has overseen an extensive economic expansion.

While he was able to maintain control over his country through major anti-government protests in mid-2013, Erdogan received international condemnation for his brutal response to the protests.

The Turkish leader will face local elections and a national ballot in 2015.

The corruption scandal has negatively affected the stock market and lira, with the currency falling to an historical low of 2.1025 against the dollar on Monday.

(with Reuters)

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