Erdogan makes campaign pledges to continue to fight illegal crime ntworks vested in the state
Addressing crowds of thousands in the central and southern Anatolian provinces of Nigde and Osmaniye ahead of local elections late this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that the government would continue its determined fight against illegal crime networks charged with plotting to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. "Some shadowy and dark crime organizations vested in the state have been trying to transform Turkey into a country not ruled by law but unlawfulness, by ignoring democracy and the nation's will," he said. "Now all their shadowy activities are coming to light. We will determinedly continue to fight those groups, even while opposition parties and some media outlets don't support us in this fight." He added, "Only the nation has the right to decide who will govern Turkey, but in past years dark crime networks, interest groups, some media outlets and some antidemocratic power centers have played a large role in this decision. With the AK Party government, this changed completely." Touching on the global economic crisis, Erdogan claimed that some circles were using the crisis as a political weapon against the AK Party government. Erdogan stressed the importance of optimism and positive expectations for the economy, accusing "fear-mongers" of harming Turkey for their own ends. Blasting opposition parties' poor performances in power during past crises, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey will emerge stronger from the crisis. In Nigde, Erdogan also inaugurated the Kemerhisar-Pozanti Highway, part of an important link between Europe and the Middle East which is also set to ease transportation between southern and central Turkey.