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Erdogan criticizes, undermines huge corruption investigation

The Turkish government has enacted a flurry of measures to thwart a massive corruption investigation, threatening fundamental norms of democracy.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party (AKP), during a meeting at party headquarters in Ankara December 25, 2013. Erdogan said his ruling AK Party will not tolerate corruption on Wednesday after three cabinet members resigned over a high-level graft probe. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX16TTF
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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. The alleged bribes the ministers received through their sons are said to amount to 133 million Turkish lira (about $64.5 million).

The investigation file includes many other charges, including money laundering, fraud in urban construction works and the provision of Turkish citizenship to foreigners in return for bribes.

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