Turkish PM Erdoğan's son ready to testify over graft probe: Lawyer

Turkish PM Erdoğan's son ready to testify over graft probe: Lawyer

ANKARA - The Associated Press
Turkish PM Erdoğans son ready to testify over graft probe: Lawyer

Bilal Erdoğan visited with his father the construction site of the much-debated Çamlıca Hill mosque in Istanbul two weeks ago. AA photo

A lawyer said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son "is ready to testify" to prosecutors in a probe that had been stalled after police allegedly refused to bring him for questioning on prosecutors' orders.

Erdoğan last month dismissed four government ministers implicated in an initial corruption and bribery scandal and then quickly moved to replace police officials involved in the investigation - an action which news reports said thwarted a second corruption probe which sought to question his son, Bilal Erdoğan, and other people.

However Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ had denied the existence of any arrest warrant to detain Bilal Erdoğan.

Lawyer Ahmet Özel told state-run Anadolu Agency late Jan. 23 that Erdoğan's son, Bilal, was prepared to give testimony to prosecutors but that he has not been summoned.

The statement came following a brawl in parliament where opposition legislators criticized Erdoğan for allegedly obstructing the investigation.

Erdoğan himself had claimed after the probes that the “operation” was targeting him through the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV), a charity NGO which counts Bilal Erdoğan among its board members. He responded to the claims saying that he would "disown his children" if it was found out they were involved in corruption.

The graft probe stemmed into a debate on the judiciary, as the government moved to increase its control over a key judicial body amid concerns.