Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.25
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Speaking at a meeting of the ruling party, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained the reasons for the corruption scandal and stressed that forces seeking Turkey's collapse were involved in this matter, Turkish TRT Haber TV channel reported on Dec.25.
The prime minister said that Turkey's economic achievements in the region upset many groups.
"Turkey has paid its debt to the International Monetary Fund, nuclear power plants will be constructed in the country and economic recovery is being observed in all regions of the country which dissatisfies many forces," the prime minister said.
The fight of the ruling party against illegal groups didn't offer due results and these groups created a 'state' within the state, according to Erdogan.
Three Turkish ministers named in the corruption scandal, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, Interior Minister Muammar Guler and Minister for Urban Development and Environment Erdogan Bayraktar have resigned from their posts.
Turkish police conducted special operations in Istanbul and Ankara on Dec.17, resulting in the arrest of 52 people that includes businessmen and sons of some ministers.
The businessmen are accused of corruption, smuggling and selling drugs.
Among those detained were the sons of some ministers who are members of Turkey's ruling party - Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan's son Salih Kaan Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammar Guler's son Baris Guler and Minister for Urban Development and Environment Erdogan Bayraktar's son Oguz Bayraktar. All three were detained on suspicion of corruption.
Mayor of Istanbul's Fatih Municipality, Mustafa Demir and Director General of Turkish Halkbank, Suleyman Aslan as well as well-known entrepreneur Ali Agaoglu were arrested during the same operation by police. Searches were conducted at Halkbank's office.
Mustafa Demir and Ali Agaoglu were released on Dec.21.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.