Amid corruption scandal, Erdogan reassigns 350 Ankara police

Turkish state media reported Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reassigned nearly 350 police staff in Ankara as a widening corruption scandal threatens his rule.The official Anadolu news agency said Tuesday that some top officials were included among those removed from their posts in the shuffle at the Ankara Police Headquarters.

It said most of the reassignments were in the counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling and organized crime divisions.

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

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

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.

Erdogan has already ordered that dozens of police officers involved in the probe be fired.

The scandal poses the most serious threat yet to Erdogan’s grip on power after his image was bruised by a wave of anti-government protests in June.

(Photo: Randam)