Turkish opposition lashes out at dropping of graft probe

Turkish opposition lashes out at dropping of graft probe

Turkish opposition lashes out at dropping of graft probe

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The leaders of Turkey's opposition parties have slammed an Istanbul prosecutor's decision to abort the massive corruption investigation that has been dogging the government for months.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), sarcastically called on the government on Oct. 18 to declare the week of Dec. 17-25, when the graft probes first hit headlines, as "the Week of the Thieves." 

"This week should be celebrated in the headquarters of [the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP]," Kılıçdaroğlu said in a tweet.

Ekrem Aydıner, a prosecutor from the anti-terror and organized crime unit of Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office, had decided on Oct. 17 not to proceed against 53 graft suspects including former ministers' sons in the Dec. 17. investigation. 

The smaller of two dossiers in the graft affair, the Dec. 25 probe that concerned the alleged awarding of illegal permits in building projects, was dismissed by prosecutors in May.

"The verdict is the most concrete indicator of how justice ends in Turkey. Dec. 17 and 25 have made history as the moment when the clock of the justice was stopped," CHP Vice Chairman Tekin Bingöl said on Oct. 18. 

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), also criticized the prosecutor for dropping the case.

"If you want to find the people who earn haram [Islamically forbidden] money, then look at the suspects that were caught red-handed on Dec. 17 and Dec. 25. Bribery and corruption gangs, money launders, gold smugglers and land grabbers have seized each and every single cell of the AKP," Bahçeli told local mayors of his party in Antalya on Oct. 18.