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Third Turkey minister steps down, calls on PM to resign over graft probe

Published on Dec 25, 2013 8:09 PM
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ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey's environment minister stepped down on Wednesday, the third in the cabinet to resign over an anti-graft probe that has roiled the government, and called on the prime minister to follow suit.

"I am stepping down as minister and lawmaker," Mr Erdogan Bayraktar told the private NTV television. "I believe the prime minister should also resign." The move comes shortly after Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler announced their resignations.

The sons of Mr Guler and Mr Caglayan are among the two dozen people who have been charged as part of a high-level bribery and corruption probe that has ensnared close government allies and top businessmen. They are currently in detention.

The son of Mr Bayraktar was detained last week as part of the probe, but has not been formally charged and has been released pending trial.

Turkey's Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar (left) salute supporters upon their arrival at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013. Turkey's environment minister stepped down on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013, the third in the cabinet to resign over an anti-graft probe that has roiled the government, and called on the prime minister to follow suit. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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