Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his ruling AK Party will not put up with corruption following resignations of three cabinet members over a huge graft probe that has plagued the government.
“The AK Party does not overlook or tolerate corruption. If it does, it will have removed its raison d’etre,” Erdogan told a meeting of his party in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.
He went on to say that his party has been successful over the past years because of its commitment in fighting corruption.
Erdogan also called the ongoing graft probe a conspiracy against Turkish politics and people.
Earlier in the day, the three Turkish ministers, including Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, Interior Minister Muammer Guler and Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan stepped down over the high profile graft probe.
Meanwhile, sources close to the lawmaker and former interior minister, Idris Naim Sahin, say he has offered his resignation to Erdogan’s party over the scandal.
Some 24 people, including the sons of interior and economy ministers, chief executive of state-owned Halkbank, Suleyman Aslan, and prominent businessmen close to Erdogan have been formally charged with the corruption scandal that has shaken the country’s political establishment.
Earlier this week, Erdogan described the corruption probe as an “ill-intentional move of local and foreign actors” aimed at toppling the government, promising a crackdown on those behind the investigation.
“Whoever dares to harm, stir up or set traps in this country, we will come to break those hands,” Erdogan said on Sunday in a speech to the supporters of the AK Party in Giresun city.
“They are setting wicked and dark traps in our country, using their local pawns to disrupt Turkey’s unity and integrity,” he added.
The investigation is being widely interpreted as a challenge to the authority of Erdogan, who boasts of being pro-business and has pledged to root out corruption.
Erdogan responded to the inquiry by dismissing dozens of police chiefs.
Also on Sunday, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Istanbul calling on the Turkish government to step down. Police fired teargas and used water cannon to disperse the demonstrators.
By Press TV
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