Turkey removes 100s of law enforcement authorities

Turkey removes 100s of law enforcement authorities
Wed Jan 22, 2014 17:45:28

Turkey has reassigned nearly 100 prosecutors and judges as well as 470 police officers in its latest purge effort as the parliament began a debate on controversial government legislation to rein in the judiciary.

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) removed 96 judges and prosecutors from their posts, including five chief prosecutors and senior figures who oversaw the trials of hundreds of top military officers convicted of plotting against the government, local media outlets reported Wednesday.

A total of 470 police officers, including department chiefs, have also been removed from their posts, in the latest purge of judicial and other state institutions since the anti-graft investigation became public last month, NTV television said.

The move came just a week after the HSYK removed 20 prosecutors including the chief prosecutor of Istanbul and some of those involved in the corruption probe targeting allies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A number of top police officials have also been removed, causing concerns about the government’s attempt to suppress the corruption scandal.

The parliament launched a debate late Tuesday on a bill aimed at increasing government control of the HSYK, the country's top independent judicial body, despite widespread concerns.

The sackings came as Erdogan was on his first visit to Brussels in five years in the shadow of EU concerns over the independence of state institutions and the risks to democracy.

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