Turkey: graft probe; 16 police chiefs dismissed overnight

Erdogan government's massive purge continues

08 January, 11:15

    Turkish riot police stand guard during a demonstration in Istanbul Turkish riot police stand guard during a demonstration in Istanbul

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA - The massive purge of Turkey's police department has reached the highest echelons as police chiefs of 15 provinces across Turkey, including Ankara and Izmir, and the deputy head of the national police department were dismissed overnight by the Interior Ministry as daily Hurriyet online reports today.

    The dismissal of the Ankara police chief, Kadir Ay, comes only a day after 350 officers working in key operational units were relocated in one sweep. The head of the Izmir forces, Ali Bilkay, has also been relocated. Fresh graft raids were conducted in Izmir yesterday as part of fraud investigations launched by the city's prosecutor, leading to the detention of senior officials at the harbor operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD).

    Along with the dismissal of former Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin a few days after the graft probe raids started on December 17, the latest wave of purges means that the police chiefs of Turkey's three biggest cities have now been replaced.

    Police chiefs have also been removed in the provinces of Adana, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kocaeli, Malatya, Mersin, Sakarya, Samsun, and Trabzon. All are among the most populous and economically more significant provinces of the country. Police Department Deputy Head Muammer Bucak has also been replaced. The latest raids and subsequent police purges come as the government is engulfed in a vast scandal, with the sons of two ex-ministers and the chief executive of state-owned Halkbank still being held in custody.(ANSAmed).

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