Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan wave before their departure for Brussels at Esenboga Airport in Ankara January 20, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
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Turkey launched a mass new purge of the police and judiciary on Wednesday as parliament debates controversial reforms that have heightened the crisis engulfing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The shakeups came as Erdogan, on a visit to Brussels to try to advance Turkey's EU membership bid, defended government moves to tighten its control of the judiciary.Those removed in the latest purge include five chief prosecutors and other senior figures who oversaw the trials against hundreds of top military officers convicted of plotting against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. At least 2,000 police and prosecutors have been dismissed or reassigned in recent weeks in what critics have blasted as government efforts to stifle the graft probe.Erdogan has said he would not oppose the idea of possible retrials for hundreds of military officers who were convicted in 2012 and 2013 for plotting to topple his government.
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