Middle East

Turkey removes around 800 police officers: reports

Protesters chant slogans against newly proposed restrictions on the use of the internet and against the Turkish government during a protest on the Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, on January 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ STRINGER

ANKARA: The Turkish government Thursday fired or reassigned some 800 police officers, as it pressed on with a purge of the country’s police force in response to a high-level graft probe, local media said.

Senior officers were among those removed from their posts in the latest wave of sackings in the capital Ankara and the western port of Izmir, the Hurriyet and Milliyet newspapers said.

More than 500 police officers were removed in Ankara and another 274 in Izmir, they said.

The Turkish media estimate that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-leaning government has now sanctioned some 6,000 police nationwide, including top officers, in apparent retaliation for a corruption investigation that has struck at the heart of the political elite.

Since the graft scandal erupted in mid-December, dozens of prosecutors, including senior lawyers involved in the investigations into alleged money laundering, gold smuggling and bribery, have also been sacked.





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