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Mass purge of cops in Turkey over corruption

Published on January 7, 2014 by   ·   1 Comment

A government decree published at midnight announced the sacking of 350 police officers in Ankara, including chiefs of the financial crimes, anti-smuggling, cyber crime and organised crime units, media reports said.

The HSYK, which appoints senior members of the judiciary, will investigate allegations that the new Istanbul police chief was blocking prosecutors from carrying out further arrests, as well as alleged misconduct by prosecutors.

The moves came as the government battled to contain the fallout from the graft probe that has become the biggest threat to Erdogan’s 11-year rule ahead of local elections in March.

Prominent prosecutor Muammer Akkas was also barred last month from expanding the investigation — which could also reportedly target Erdogan’s son Bilal — over allegations he leaked information to the media.

The once-unassailable Turkish strongman responded by sacking hundreds of police officials across the country, including the powerful Istanbul police chief.

PM Erdogan

Turkey policemen: over 350 sacked for corruption

Erdogan has branded the investigation a “dirty” plot to try to topple his government, blaming supporters of a powerful exiled Muslim cleric who wields considerable influence in the police and judiciary.

With the latest round of dismissals, the total number of police officers removed from their posts has risen to 560 in Ankara alone, according to media reports.

Erdogan’s critics accuse him of desperately trying to protect his cronies, and the appointment of Selami Altinok, a little-known governor with no background in police work, as Istanbul’s new police chief was further seen as an attempt to shut down the graft investigation.

Turkey purged hundreds of police and launched an investigation into prosecutors Tuesday in the latest twist in a vast corruption scandal that has rocked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

PM Erdogan

Turkey policemen: over 350 sacked for corruption

‘Probe into alleged misconduct’

PM Erdogan

Turkey policemen: over 350 sacked for corruption

The political uncertainty has added to pressures on the already volatile economy, with the national currency plunging to all-time lows as investors become spooked.

Dozens of leading businessmen and political figures — including the sons of three ministers — were rounded up in a massive anti-graft sweep in Ankara and Istanbul in December.

Turkey’s top judicial body, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), also Tuesday launched an investigation into the newly appointed Istanbul police chief and a number of the city’s top prosecutors.

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Posted by on January 7, 2014, 8:25 pm. Filed under News, World.
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