Details added (first version posted at 18:00)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 17
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The reports about arrests of sons of ministers are currently under study, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, the Turkish TV channel TRT Haber reported.
The PM neither confirmed nor denied the arrest of several ministers' sons, noting that the investigation regarding the arrest of businessmen during a special operation is underway in Istanbul and Ankara.
Erdogan said given the secrecy of the investigation, it is too early to make statements on this issue.
Some businessmen were detained as a result of a special operation conducted by the Istanbul police, according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Those arrested are being accused of corruption, smuggling and selling drugs, the news agency reported.
In his statement, Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said that some businessmen have been invited to the police station and some of them were arrested on the basis of complaints received in connection with the smuggling and sale of drugs. After receiving their testimony several businessmen were released.
Earlier, several Turkish media outlets reported that Turkish police detained 22 people, including three sons of ministers as part of the investigation of a fraud and corruption case. The sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan, and Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Erdogan Bayraktar are said to be among those arrested. All three were detained on suspicion of corruption.
Mayor of Istanbul's Fatih Municipality, Mustafa Demir, businessmen engaged in construction, one of the heads of state Halkbank, as well as several officials from the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning were arrested during the same operation by the police. Searches were conducted at Halkbank's office.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.
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