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Turkish opposition party seeks enquiry into graft at top level

5 May 2014

The CHP, Turkeys main opposition party has filed four separate parliamentary motions for an inquiry into (shown L to R) former EU Minister Egemen Bagis, former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, former Urbanisation and Environment Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar and former Interior Minister Muammer Guler. The ruling AK party filed only one motion for an inquiry into the four, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.

Today’s parliamentary session, which was delayed due to the recess for the local elections, is expected to be particularly tense, as the summary of proceedings regarding the four ex-ministers will be read out to the assembly.

The former ministers, currently still enjoy parliamentary immunity. Nevertheless, it is likely that the General Assembly will turn the request down, due to the dominant AK Party votes. This issue is a highly sensitive one, with the presidential elections on the horizon and Prime Minister Erdogan likely to stand as a candidate. So today, the speeches of opposition spokesmen will not be heard by the public; this is because the AK party voted for this particular session to be held on a Monday, when there is no live broadcast of Parliament TV. It can however, be viewed on the parliament’s own website.

Caglayan, Guler and Bayraktar resigned only days after the corruption scandal on 17th December, 2013, when the police detained their sons as well as businessmen who are close to Prime Minister Erdogan. Bagis was replaced by Erdogan as part of a major Cabinet reshuffle on 25th December last year. All four ex-members of the Cabinet deny any wrongdoing.

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