World News

Amid Corruption Scandal, Erdogan Reassigns 350 Ankara Police

Turkish media say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has removed nearly 350 police from their posts in the capital, amid a widening corruption scandal that has threatened his rule.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said Tuesday top officials were among those removed from their posts at the Ankara Police Headquarters. Other reports said some were reassigned to traffic departments or police posts outside the city.

The move comes as Prime Minister Erdogan tries to contain the fall-out of a high-level bribery and corruption investigation he says is a foreign-backed plot to bring down his government.

The investigation has ensnared dozens of former top politicians and businessmen and prompted a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Erdogan after three ministers stepped down late last month.

Mr. Erdogan responded by firing hundreds of police officers he says were involved in the probe.

He claims the graft allegations are being advanced by the U.S.-based Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has followers in various branches of the Turkish police and judiciary. Gulen has denied involvement.

Gulen's followers were an important ally of Mr. Erdogan's Islamist government, before disagreements surfaced over a series of anti-government protests last year and other issues.

The scandal poses the most serious threat yet to the rule of Mr. Erdogan, who remains popular and who has won three straight general elections.

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