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LOCAL > Turkey removes around 800 more police officers

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Hundreds of police officers have been sacked since the graft scandal erupted in mid-December. Daily News photo

Hundreds of police officers have been sacked since the graft scandal erupted in mid-December. Daily News photo

The government sacked or reassigned around 800 police officers on Jan. 30, as it pressed on with a purge of the country's police force in response to the ongoing high-level graft probe.

Senior officers were among those removed from their posts in the latest wave of sackings in the capital Ankara and the western port of Izmir, according to reports.

More than 500 police officers were removed in Ankara and another 274 in Izmir.

Since the graft scandal erupted in mid-December, dozens of prosecutors, including senior lawyers involved in the investigations into alleged money laundering, gold smuggling and bribery, have also been sacked.

The probe highlighted the deepening conflict between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose followers are said to hold key positions inside the secret services, police and judiciary and are believed to be behind the investigation.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and several government officials have repeatedly accused a "parallel state" within the police department and the judiciary of plotting the probe.

In a letter sent to President Abdullah Gül earlier this month, Gülen deplored the dismissal of “public workers who had no ties to the recent corruption probe,” while denying claims that he had influenced state activities or given directives to civil servants.

January/30/2014

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