Gül: If there is corruption, it cannot be covered up

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has broken his silence on a recent corruption scandal for the first time, saying Turkey was not a country where such mistakes could be covered up.

“Major reforms have been implemented in Turkey in the last decade,” Gül told reporters today in Ankara on the sidelines of a ceremony to hand out the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards. “In a country in which all these have been done, any wrongdoing or corruption will not be covered up, cannot be covered up. Know this because Turkey is not the same country it was 15-20 years ago."

A high-level graft probe that started on Dec. 17 has shaken the political establishment, exposing a bitter feud between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the movement of Fethüllah Gülen, whose followers hold key positions in the police, judiciary and secret services.

Twenty-four people have been formally arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey, including the sons of two ministers and the general manager of state-owned Halkbank while scores have been detained.

In response, about 70 police officers, including the powerful head of Istanbul’s force, have now been sacked or moved to different posts since the detention of bribery suspects began last week.

Gül said the accusations are now the judiciary’s job. “Everybody should wait for the judicial process and the truth should come out,” he said. “I believe that the courts will get a result and the most correct way possible.”

Gül also said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had been working on a government reshuffle and that they would meet on the issue when Erdoğan returns from a trip to Pakistan. (Hürriyet Daily News)

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