Prosecutor conducting probe into fraud claims at İzmir Harbor dismissed
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
The probe was launched into the commercial harbor operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD). Suspects were taken into custody on charges of bribery, corruption, conspiring to rig tenders and leaking information about tenders. DHA photoThe prosecutor in charge of a graft investigation into fraud claims in the İzmir Harbor was removed from the case Feb. 7, amid yet another controversial reshuffle in the İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutor Ali Çelik opened the probe and ordered the detention of several suspects on Jan. 7, including a relative of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidate in the city and the ex-transport minister.
Chief İzmir Prosecutor Hüseyin Baş, who was supervising the investigation, was also removed from duty in a previous purge on Jan. 22.
The case was particularly controversial as the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) revealed the minutes of a conversation revealing that Justice Ministry Undersecretary Kenan İpek had called the İzmir prosecutor to halt the probe.
Baş said according to the record he made before being reassigned that İpek had asked him to stop the investigation at once.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ acknowledged the phone call, but dismissed the main opposition’s allegations that the dialogue was “threatening.”
The fresh dismissal comes a week after the prosecutor who launched the graft probe Dec. 17 was also removed from the case.