Three Turkish ministers step down over corruption probe, PM resignation sought

Eurasia News

ANKARA: Three Turkish ministers on Wednesday tendered their resignations over a high-level corruption investigation that has plagued the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

The ministers included environment minister Erdogan Bayraktar, interior minister Muammer Guler and economy minister Zafer Caglayan. Bayraktar was the last one to resign, calling on the prime minister to leave the cabinet too.

The resignations arrived after some two dozen people including the sons of interior and economy ministers, chief executive of state-owned Halkbank, Suleyman Aslan, and prominent businessmen close to the prime minister were formally charged with the corruption scandal that shook the country’s political establishment.

Likewise, dozens of senior police officials, including Istanbul Police Chief Huseyin Capkin, were also removed from their posts.

On December 27, police conducted raids and detained dozens of people suspected of numerous offences including accepting and facilitating bribes for development projects and securing construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money.

On the other hand, the Turkish prime minister denounced the probe as a plot to undermine his government ahead of the local elections in March next year.