AKP deputy leader refutes claims ministers resigned over bribery probe
Hüseyin Çelik DHA photoDeputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Hüseyin Çelik, has refuted claims that three ministers, whose sons were detained as part of the ongoing corruption probe, have resigned, speaking at a televised interview on the evening of Dec. 19.
“The claims that ministers have resigned are total lies. The prime minister would have made a Cabinet change anyway. The ministers already said they would do whatever is necessary to ease things for the prime minister. Even if these friends are tried, we cannot say that they are guilty yet,” said Çelik, speaking on the private station Habertürk.
“We do not play the lottery. The prime minister will decide. If one minister says ‘I really want to resign to relieve the prime minister,’ that’s his decision. But we do not play lottery over ministers,” said Çelik.
Around 52 people, including three ministers’ sons, a mayor, prominent businessmen and high-ranking public officials, were detained in Istanbul and Ankara on the morning of Dec. 17 as part of the probe into tender fraud and bribery allegations.
There are three members of the Cabinet whose sons were among those detained; Interior Minister Muammer Güler, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan. The suspects are, respectively, Barış Güler, Abdullah Oğuz Bayraktar and Kaan Çağlayan.