One minister's son released, demand for arrest of two others in Turkey’s corruption probe

One minister
# 21 December 2013 01:10 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. One of Turkish minister's son and a construction tycoon were released late Dec. 20 along with 20 others by an Istanbul court in a massive corruption probe, after giving their testimonies, while the prosecutor requested the arrest of 49 suspects, including two other ministers' sons, APA reports quoting “hurriyet daily news”.

Environment and Urbanization Minister ErdoÄŸan Bayraktar’s son Abdullah OÄŸuz Bayraktar and businessman Ali AÄŸaoÄŸlu have been among those who were released, while the prosecutor requested the arrest of 49 suspects, including Interior Minister Muammer Güler's son Barış Güler and Economy Minister Zafer ÇaÄŸlayan's son Kaan ÇaÄŸlayan.

They were sent to court with the demand of arrest, along with the Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir and Halkbank General Manager Süleyman Aslan.

Three prosecutors looking into the probe have unanimously decided for the requests for arrest.

The consent of two of three prosecutors looking into Turkey’s ongoing corruption investigation were required to make decisions in the case according to a circular sent by Istanbul chief prosecutor to prosecutors on the case.

As the circular came after the assignment of two additional judges on the case, it has raised concerns over judicial impartiality.

The prosecutor's office has issued a ban on leaving the country for those who were released.

The operations were made up of three separate investigations in which a total of 71 people have been detained with morning raids.

The first raid was launched against Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab on allegations that he was running a crime ring. The Azeri businessman is accused of paying bribes to Cabinet members to cover his suspicious money transactions and get Turkish citizenship for his relatives and his men in the alleged crime gang.

The second probe was regarding illegal construction permits given to several firms in exchange for bribes. OÄŸuz Bayraktar, construction tycoons Ali AÄŸaoÄŸlu, Osman AÄŸca and Emrullah Turanlı, Environment Ministry General Manager Mehmet Ali Kahraman, Environment Minister Adviser Sadık Soylu, Emlak Konut GYO General Manager Murat Kurum, TOKÄ° Istanbul estate department head Ali Seydi KaraoÄŸlu, Environment Ministry planning official Turgay Albayrak, TOKÄ° city planning branch head Yavuz Çelik and 14 others are detained as part of this second probe.

The third probe is into allegations of construction permits given to a firm by Istanbul’s Fatih Municipality, despite reports ruling that this construction would threaten the safety of the newly built Marmaray tunnel.

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