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Turkey removes police chiefs amid graft probe

Updated: 2014-01-08 16:54
( Xinhua)

ANKARA - The Turkish government removed police chiefs in 16 provinces, including the capital of Ankara overnight amid a corruption probe that has shaken the country, local media reported on Wednesday.

The removed police chiefs also include those from major provinces of Diyarbakir, Izmir, Adana, Antalya. Earlier, they were summoned to the National Police Department in Ankara, Today's Zaman reported.

On Tuesday, about 350 police officers in Ankara were dismissed by the authorities. Some 250 new candidates have been appointed to replace those sacked, according to local media.

On December 17, more than 80 people, including some prominent businessmen close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and sons of three ministers, were detained as part of the probe into tender fraud and bribery allegations.

Soon afterwards, Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, Interior Minister Muammer Guler and Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan announced their resignation. Prime Minister Erdogan then launched a major cabinet reshuffle.

To contain the aftermath of the political turmoil, the Turkish government has sacked hundreds of police officials across the country since the investigation started last month.

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The Party vowed on Wednesday to fight corruption firmly and to maintain its "high-handed posture" in the next five years.