Main opposition CHP leader slams Turkish PM’s gang remark

Photo: Main opposition CHP leader slams Turkish PM’s gang remark / Turkey

"Ministers implicated in the largest corruption probe in Turkey's history are still riding official cars. The minister mentioned in an investigation file dismissed the police officer who interrogated the minister's son. How is this possible? Kilichdaroglu asked in a written statement he released yesterday, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The CHP leader has been maintaining his harsh criticism of the government over the graft probe launched last week. Twenty-four people have been formally arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey, including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler and Economy Minister Zafer Chaglayan; as well as the general manager of the state-owned Halkbank and a prominent Iranian-Azeri origin businessman.

Erdogan, asserting a defiant tone, labeled the graft probe as an ill-intentioned plot of local and foreign actors, aiming to topple the government and vowed to settle the scores with "gangs within the state" who prepared the plot against government. More than 70 police officers, including the head of Istanbul Police, have been dismissed or moved to different posts since the detention of the bribery suspects began last week.

Kilichdaroglu bashed Erdogan's rhetoric of "gangs within the state" and asked who allowed those gangs to settle within the state.

"Haven't you been the Prime Minister for 11 years? Did you realize the gang when they reached you? All intelligence and bureaucracy is under your command, how come you have not been aware of this gang for 11 years?" the CHP leader asked.

Kilichdaroglu claimed the government is attempting to cover up the corruption with a recently introduced decree that obliges police chiefs who are assigned to work with prosecutors in a probe to inform their superiors, including city police chiefs and governors, before launching an investigation.

"The ruling party set up substructure for corruption and it's time to cover up the corruption. Is the decree introduced by a minister who was involved in corruption for the cover up? Because, if the prosecutor launches a graft investigation, grafters will firstly be informed," he said.

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