Interior Minister offers resignation over corruption affair
The Anadolu News Agency reports that Interior Minister, Muammer Güler, has confirmed his willingness to stand down over a corruption enquiry.
The agency reports the Interior minister as saying “I told the Prime Minister that I was ready for being discharged.”
The move comes after an extensive corruption and bribery scandal that has resulted in at least 23 arrests including Muammer Güler’s son and the sons of Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Environment Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar. The accusations include taking bribes worth millions of dollars.
The Turkish government is describing the anti-corruption investigation by police and the judiciary as a ‘shadowy international plot’ and Prime Minister Erdoğan is reported as saying that “We will break the hands that set dirty traps to drag Turkey into turmoil”.
Local commentators are suggesting that the corruption affair, the most serious challenge to the government after anti-government riots this summer, is a clash between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government and the US based cleric Fethullah Gülen. The cleric is reported to have a wide network across the country known as the Gülen movement or Hizmet. Gülen is said to believe in science, interfaith dialogue and multi-party democracy and has been involved in a tussle with the prime minister for some time. The government believes that the corruption affair is being perpetrated by Gülen’s supporters within the police and judiciary and has been carrying out a purge of the officers involved with more than 25 officers dismissed so far.