Turkey cracks down on corruption, 350 police officers fired in Ankara
The Turkish government fired 350 police officers in Ankara overnight, including heads of major departments, local media reported Tuesday.
The dismissals came amid Turkey’s corruption scandal which has put Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies, including his sons, under fire.
Among those fired were chiefs of the financial crimes, anti-smuggling, cybercrime and organized crime units, the private Dogan News Agency reported.
The officers were fired by a government decree made public at midnight.
The decree also stipulated replacements for 250 of the fired officers, the news agency said.
The firings are seen as an attempt by the government to curb the high level corruption probe that threatens Erdogan’s 11-year rule.
The corruption investigation is believed to stem from the tension between Erdogan’s government and followers of the influential Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, who despite being exiled in the United States, is thought to have many well positioned allies in the government, police force and judiciary.
Erodgan has condemned the investigation as an international conspiracy to bring down his government.
The prime minister has dismissed dozens of police chiefs across the country since the graft probe first emerged in December.