Removal of 1,000 police officers is ‘routine’ for Turkey
Interior Minister Efkan Ala played down the mass purge of police and prosecutors, which came in the wake of a probe launched on Dec. 17
Despite the controversy that shrouded the Turkish government’s recent removal of around 1,000 police officers, the interior minister on Saturday referred to the saga as a series of "routine" re-assignments.
In an interview with Kanal 7 television, Efkan Ala played down the mass purge of police and prosecutors, which came in the wake of a probe launched on Dec. 17 targeting several members of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inner circle.
"While 15,000 police were subjected to such a shakeup last year, this number has only reached 5,000 this year. Only 1,000 of them are related to Dec. 17," said
Ala added that the police officers affected by the shakeups were not "sacked", but "re-assigned" as part of a "routine procedure".
Ahead of key local polls in March, the corruption scandal poses one of the most serious challenges to Erdogan in his 11 years in power.
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