Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.30
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The corruption scandal that began on Dec.17 is directed against the Turkish ruling party, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said, Turkish TRT Haber TV channel reported on Dec.30.
There are forces within the country which have united against the ruling party, according to the interior minister.
Efkan Ala also stressed that it will become clear very soon who stands behind the current events.
Turkish police conducted special operations in Istanbul and Ankara on Dec.17, resulting in the arrest of 52 people that include 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 the members of Turkey's ruling party - Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan's son, Salih Kaan Caglayan, 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, Director General of Turkish Halkbank Suleyman Aslan and 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.
After a meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the new cabinet of ministers.
MP from Ankara Emrullah İsler was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in place of Bekir Bozdag. In turn, the latter was appointed Minister of Justice.
MP from the ruling party Lutfi Elvan was appointed Minister of Transport, Shipping and Communications.
Ayshenur Islam was appointed Minister for Family and Social Policy. Mevlut Cavusoglu will head the Ministry for EU Affairs.
Fikri Isik Bilim was appointed Minister for Science, Industry and Technology, while Gulluce Idris became Environmental and Urban Development Minister.
Akif Cagatay Kılıc was appointed Youth and Sports Minister, Nihat Zeybekci - Economy Minister and Efkan Ala became Interior Minister.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.