Turkey frees cabinet ministers' sons

Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, one of those detained - file pic Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab is suspected of murky deals involving Iran

Related Stories

The Turkish authorities have freed the sons of two former cabinet ministers pending trial, the latest twist in a major corruption investigation.

Baris Guler and Kaan Caglayan, arrested in December, were among dozens of people held in an investigation into bribery relating to public tenders.

The inquiry enraged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who saw it as a "plot" against him.

He responded with a purge of top police and judicial officials.

An Azeri businessman of Iranian origin, Reza Zarrab, was also released on Friday.

Cash in shoeboxes

The son of a third cabinet minister was also arrested in December, but was soon released.

The three ministers - Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler - resigned in December as the police investigation intensified.

All three denied any wrongdoing.

Police are investigating allegations of illicit money transfers to Iran and bribery for construction projects.

Earlier this month Suleyman Aslan, the former chief executive of Halkbank, was also released.

He is suspected of money-laundering in connection with the alleged bribery. When they searched his home police found $4.5m (£2.7m; 3.2m euros) in cash hidden in shoeboxes.

Mr Erdogan and his supporters in the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party see the investigation as a plot masterminded by Fethullah Gulen, an Islamist cleric based in the US.

Mr Gulen denies any such plot. His Hizmet movement is believed to have influential followers in Turkey's judiciary and other state institutions.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

More Europe stories



  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima

  • A man hangs a Catalan flag at his balcony near Barcelona in 2013Caledonia homage

    Who are the Europeans with an eye on the Scottish referendum?

  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

  • A woman dining aloneTable for one

    The restaurants that love solo diners

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.