Sons of government ministers arrested in Turkish corruption probe

Dec. 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM   |   0 comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Two sons of Turkish government ministers are among 24 people arrested as part of an investigation into a bribery and fraud ring, officials say.

Others arrested included Suleyman Aslan, general director of the state-owned Halkbank, and Reza Zerrab, an Iranian-Azerbaijani businessman, Today's Zaman reported Saturday.

Kaan Caglayan, son of Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, and Bans Guler, son of Interior Minister Muammer Guler, are among dozens of people arrested since Tuesday. Some 49 people, including the mayor of the Fatih district of Istanbul, were referred to court for arrest Thursday.

The suspects face numerous charges, including rigging state bids, accepting bribes for major urbanization projects, falsifying documents to help foreigners get Turkish citizenship, export fraud and smuggling gold.

Some 42 suspects were released in the early morning hours Friday and Saturday, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The prosecutor's office has banned those released from leaving the country.

Some 71 people have arrested as part of three separate investigations.

Zerrab, the businessman, is accused of running a crime ring. Prosecutors allege he paid bribes to Cabinet members to cover illicit money transactions and to acquire citizenship for members of his family and people involved in crime.

Otter investigations are looking into allegations illegal construction permits were obtained through bribery.

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