Prosecutors, judge of Turkey's massive graft probe dismissed from profession

Prosecutors, judge of Turkey's massive graft probe dismissed from profession

Prosecutors, judge of Turkeys massive graft probe dismissed from profession

(L-R) Prosecutors Celal Kara, Zekeriya Öz, Mehmet Yüzgeç and Muammer Akkaş.

Turkey's top judicial body has dismissed from the profession four prosecutors and one judge, who had been involved in the country's biggest-ever corruption investigation in December 2013.

The second chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) decided to dismiss prosecutors Zekeriya Öz, Muammer Akkaş, Celal Kara and Mehmet Yüzgeç, as well as judge Süleyman Karaçöl, on May 12, according to private broadcaster CNN Türk.

The five figures were dismissed from their profession due to their roles in the corruption investigations launched on Dec. 17, and Dec. 25, 2013, which targeted four former ministers and three of those ministers’ sons. 

The HSYK's decision was taken with five votes against two, CNN Türk reported.

Mehmet Yılmaz, the head of HSYK’s second chamber, said those in the chamber who had reached this decision were all “people of law and dignity.” 

“Everyone has come to their decisions according to their own conscience. There is no question of whether anyone was affected by someone else,” Yılmaz said after the decision. 

Businessmen, officials and four cabinet members were embroiled in the wide-ranging corruption probes as suspects. 

The four ministers, Egemen Bağış, Erdoğan Bayraktar, Zafer Çağlayan and Muammer Güler, resigned from their posts after news of the probe broke. 

Months after the investigations were quashed, all four were acquitted by a parliamentary vote on the claims.

The government had described the graft probe as a "coup attempt" launched by the "parallel structure" within the state, which refers to the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, Ankara's ally-turned-nemesis.