Turkish authorities have removed two police chiefs from their posts following a high-profile corruption probe that has shaken the country’s political establishment.
On Thursday, the Erzurum Police Department intelligence schief, Hursit Ucar, and Mersin Police Department’s Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau head Cemil Uysal were removed from their posts, Turkey’s Today’s Zaman newspaper reported.
According to the Turkish daily, 400 police officers at the Istanbul Police Department have been removed from duty over the corruption probe.
Dozens of government officials and prominent businessmen close to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were arrested on graft charges on December 17, 2013.
On December 25, 2013, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, replacing 10 ministers including the economy, interior, and environment ministers, who had resigned from their posts after their sons were arrested in the scandal.
In a televised speech on Wednesday, Erdogan called for national support against a “plot” by foreign-backed elements targeting the Turkish people.
“History will not forgive those who have become mixed up in this game,” he said, blaming police and judiciary for engineering the scandal to undermine his government.
Turkish media reports indicate that Erdogan’s son will probably be the next target of the high-level graft probe.