TEMPO.CO, Ankara - The Government of Turkey has recently dismissed 350 police officers in one night. This is considered to be the largest clean-up since the government had been in dispute with the police on a corruption scandal investigation which indicted all parties related to Prime Minister Ricip TayyipErdogan on last December 17.
As reported by Turkish news office, Dooan yesterday, the dismissal was based on a decree issued by Erdogan last Monday night. The ones that were dismissed include Ankara's Vice Chief of Police, Head of the Financial Crimes Division, Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, Head of the Cyber Crimes Division, and Head of the Organized Crime Division. The decree also states for 250 new police officers based outside of Ankara as a replacement for those who were dismissed. As many as 1,000 police officers have been dismissed after the dispute between the Judicial and Executive powers spread. Around 560 who got dismissed were originated from the Ankara police. Until now, the Ankara police have stayed silent and refused to comment on the matter.
The corruption scandal involving three of Erdogan's sons was considered a huge threat to his 11-year reign. The Prime Minister himself has condemned the corruption investigation and saying it as a play to overthrow him from power. The investigation, still ongoing by Turkey officials, is believed to be related to the tension between Prime Minister Erdogan’s government and the followers of FethullahGullen, a powerful Islamic figure, who now lives in seclusion in the USA. Gullen’s loyal followers are believed to hold many important positions in the judicial branch of Turkey, including the police and judges.
However, Gullen wrote an exclusive letter directed to the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul. The letter states that he declines any accusations thrown at him for influencing officials to investigate the scandal that can ruin Erdogan’s image.
Gullen asked the President to stop Erdogan's act of dismissing every official who wants to uncover a corruption scandal. "They were dismissed while carrying out an action that is instructed by the constitution," Gullen wrote in his letter as reported by newspaper Yeni Safak, last Monday.
HURRIYET DAILY | REUTERS | THE GUARDIAN