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Tuesday, September 13 2011 , Your time is 15:58:00
Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler announced their resignations this morning. CİHAN photo
Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar announced their resignations on Dec. 25.
The first announcement came hours after Çağlayan returned from a trip to Pakistan, where he accompanied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“It is clear that the operation that was launched on Dec. 17 is a dirty [game] against our government, our party and our country,” Çağlayan said in a written statement. “I have left my duty as the economy minster to spoil this ugly game in which my son and my close aides were implicated and to allow the facts come out.""I presented my resignation verbally to the prime minister on Dec. 17 [the date his son was detained in the corruption operation]. Today I presented it in writing," Muammer Güler said in a statement.
The high-level graft probe has shaken the political establishment, exposing a bitter feud between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose followers hold key positions in the police, judiciary and secret services. Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Çağlayan. In response, approximately 70 police officers, including the powerful head of Istanbul’s force, have been sacked or moved to different posts.