ANKARA: Five Turkish police chiefs have been dismissed after dozens of people including sons of Cabinet ministers were detained in a high-profile probe into bribery and fraud, media reports said Wednesday.
The police raids on Tuesday and the subsequent sackings have highlighted deep rifts in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support base ahead of key elections in Turkey next year. The operation sent shockwaves across the country and prompted calls from opposition parties for the resignation of the entire government.
“This is the biggest scandal in the history of the republic,” said Engin Altay of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). “The prime minister must resign.”
At least 50 people were detained in the dawn raids suspected of numerous offenses including accepting and facilitating bribes for development projects and securing construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money, as well as gold smuggling and money laundering, according to press reports.
The sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar were detained along with well-known businessmen.