ANKARA Jan 15 Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
ordered his ambassadors to redouble efforts in "telling the
truth" to allies that a graft investigation shaking Ankara was
nothing other than a treacherous plot to sabotage Turkey's
The graft investigation emerged on Dec. 17 with the
detention of dozens of people including businessmen close to the
government and three cabinet ministers' sons and has grown into
one of the biggest challenges of Erdogan's 11-year rule.
"We expect you to exert more effort to defeat this
treacherous operation targeting Turkey by telling our partners
the truth," Erdogan told the conference of ambassadors in the
Erdogan's supporters view the corruption inquiry as a plot
to undermine him orchestrated by U.S.-based Turkish cleric
Fethullah Gulen, a former ally whose network of followers is
influential in the police and judiciary.
"They are trying to deal a heavy blow to Turkey's economy.
They are making efforts to push interest rates higher. In order
to make international investors uneasy they use every means.
"Most importantly they are working hard to harm Turkey's
image in the world," he added.
(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; editing
by Ralph Boulton)