Turkish PM Erdogan Involved in Scandal to Undermine Sanctions on Iran

One of Turkey’s largest-ever corruption investigations is underway. A public bank CEO, an Iranian businessman and the sons of the freshly resigned interior and economy ministers are among the 24 suspects arrested so far, pending trial. The Iranian businessman allegedly circumvented sanctions against Iran and sent millions of dollars to the country via Halkbank by bribing the CEO as well as the ministers through their sons.

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In a series of daily speeches after the operation began, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted the probe and the investigators. He branded the probe a “dirty operation” and the policemen in charge a “gang.” He further said that a “trap” had been set up for Turkey, warning that they would “break the hands that set up the trap.”

Erdogan’s comments marked the onset of actual interventions in the probe. The chiefs of the Istanbul police’s financial crimes and organized crime departments, who handled the investigation, were removed from office in a snap. In a second wave, all department chiefs at the Istanbul police and some 100 others across Turkey were dismissed.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/erdogan-corruption-democracy-threat-measures-probe.html?utm_source&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8803

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