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Mystery remains on status of Turkish corruption inquiry

A Turkish court imposed a gag order preventing the news media from reporting on the parliamentary investigative commission turning the criminal spotlight on four former Cabinet ministers.
(L-R) Turkey's European Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis, Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Environment and City Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar and Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan wait for the arrival of the prime minister at Esenboga Airport in Ankara December 24, 2013. Turkish ministers Caglayan and Guler resigned on Wednesday after their sons were arrested in a corruption investigation that has pitted the government against the judiciary and rattled foreign investors. Guler and Caglayan each had a son a

Dec. 17 will mark the first anniversary of the surfacing of a prosecutor’s secret corruption investigation that turned the criminal spotlight on four Cabinet ministers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and their close-knit network. This event also marks the public divorce of the AKP and the US-based Sunni cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers.

Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Gulenists of establishing a "parallel state," in particular infiltrating the judiciary and the security establishment in an attempt to bring down the government. Hundreds of prosecutors and thousands of police officers have been reshuffled since then. Having been elected the country’s president in August, Erdogan vowed to eradicate all state institutions of the Gulenists. In October, an Istanbul court decided not to prosecute those involved in the graft probe. Yet, the case of the four former Cabinet ministers — Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan, Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Minister of EU Affairs Egemen Bagis and Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Erdogan Bayraktar — is different.

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