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Turkey: removal of 1,000 police since graft probe is 'routine'

Published on Feb 22, 2014 5:32 PM

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkey's interior ministry said 1,000 police officers have been removed in the wake of a major corruption probe against key government allies but said these were only "routine" re-assignments.

The government has embarked on a mass purge of police and prosecutors in the wake of the 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," Mr Efkan Ala said in an interview with Kanal 7 television.

Mr Ala added that the police officers affected by the shakeups were not "sacked", but "re-assigned" as part of a "routine procedure".

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