Turkish PM rejects allegations of corruption in supposed cronyism cover-up

By REUTERS
January 6, 2015 14:05

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said corruption allegations against four former ministers were part of a "coup attempt", denying on Tuesday that the government had put pressure on a parliamentary commission not to send them to trial.

Davutoglu has followed the lead of President Tayyip Erdogan in dismissing the graft scandal, which erupted in December 2013, as an attempt by political enemies to topple the government.

The commission, dominated by members of the ruling AK Party, voted on Monday not to commit the four ex-ministers for trial, a decision that the opposition decried as a cover-up of one of Turkey's biggest ever corruption scandals.

The commission's decision effectively backed Erdogan's efforts to stamp out the scandal, which he blames on supporters of his former ally, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The government has reacted with a purge of the state apparatus, reassigning thousands of police and hundreds of judges and prosecutors deemed loyal to Gulen, in what the authorities said was a cleansing of the cleric's influence.


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