Opposition slams Turkish gov't over corruption

Opposition slams Turkish gov't over corruption
Tue Dec 24, 2013 14:30:18

Leader of Turkish Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu has expressed concerns over a massive anti-graft probe that hit government officials and prominent businessmen close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu criticized the government in a statement on Monday for handling the corruption case, asking Erdogan whether he “has lost his sense of shame,” the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Some 24 people including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler and Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, and chief executive of state-owned Halkbank Suleyman Aslan as well as prominent businessmen close to Erdogan have so far been charged in a bribery inquiry.

“Ministers implicated in the largest corruption probe in Turkey’s history are still riding official cars. The minister mentioned in an investigation file dismissed the police officer who interrogated the minister’s son. Can it be explained in terms of shame and manners, let alone the state of law or universal law?” Kilicdaroglu said.

Erdogan has described the corruption probe as an “ill-intentional move of local and foreign actors” aimed at toppling the government, promising a crackdown on those behind the investigation.

Erdogan, who was already expected to reshuffle his cabinet ahead of local elections on March 30, is expected to replace 10 ministers by the end of the month.

Observers have interpreted the raids as a result of tensions between Erdogan's government and Fethullah Gulen, a hugely influential Muslim cleric who lives in the United States.

Erdogan swiftly responded to the raids by sacking dozens of police chiefs.

The Gulen movement wields considerable influence in the state apparatus including the police and the judiciary.


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