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Turkish President orders probe into political corruption

5 March 2014

Turkish President Gul has taken the unusual step of instructing the State Audit Board (DDK) to examine amongst other topics, regulations which control wire-tapping of communications.

The president said that this was part of an operation to review Turkey’s ability to tackle political corruption in state institutions. Gul has also requested that the Council looks at the method by which judges and prosecutors are selected and also that it examines the rules that deal with “state secrets”.

The president, who has consistently emphasised the value of good governance, transparency and accountability since he was foreign minister, authorised the State Audit Board (DDK), an important state body working under the presidency, to launch investigations on five topics, including the 17th December graft probe allegations, telephone wire-tapping and widespread corruption claims on property speculations and other kinds of favouritism such as the distribution of building tenders.

Last month, parliament approved a new law enabling the government to have greater control over the judiciary, a move Erdogan’s critics say is a further attempt to smother the corruption allegations after the government dismissed or reassigned thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors when the corruption investigations were launched on 17th December, 2013.

Several government ministers and their sons were implicated in the investigations, however, all have subsequently been released pending trial.

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