Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Europe

Turkish ministers resign over corruption probe

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-25

Turkey’s economy, interior and environment ministers on Wednesday resigned over a vast corruption scandal that has rattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and led to the sacking of several police officers investigating the case.

In a brief statement, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said he is stepping down “so that full light can be shed on this ignoble operation targeting our government".

Interior Minister Baris Guler announced his resignation shortly afterwards, followed by Environment and Urbanisation Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, who called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to follow suit.

The ministers’ sons, Salih Kaan Caglayan, Baris Guler and Oguz Bayraktar, were among 24 people arrested on graft charges last week in a case centering on state-run lender Halkbank.

Local media has reported that they are suspected of acting as intermediaries in order to give and take bribes.

Erdogan, who has led Turkey since 2002 as the head of a conservative Islamic-leaning government, has described the probe as "a smear campaign" to undermine Turkey's ambitions to become a major political and economic power.

Since the scandal broke, Erdogan has sacked dozens of police officials, including the Istanbul police chief, for cooperating with the investigation without permission.

The fast-moving police enquiry has struck at the heart of Turkey's ruling political elite, including sons of government ministers and businessmen, and has thrown up a serious challenge for Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which already weathered mass street protests in June.

Observers say the wide-ranging investigation has exposed a rift between Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Fethullah Gulen, a hugely influential Muslim cleric who lives in the United States and whose movement wields considerable influence in Turkey's police and judiciary.

The scandal has erupted just months ahead of Turkey's local elections on March 30 that will include a contest for the control of Turkey's largest city Istanbul and which are now being seen as a key indicator of where the political fault-lines lie throughout the country.

The stakes are high for Erdogan. Fast in the tracks of the local polls are presidential elections in August, which for the first time will be open to all voters and in which the still popular premier is expected to participate.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-12-25

  • TURKEY

    Turkish ministers’ sons charged in corruption probe

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Istanbul police chief sacked amid high-profile bribery probe

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Sons of Turkish ministers arrested in fraud probe

    Read more

COMMENT(S)