Efkan Ala was sworn in as Turkey's new minister of interior on Thursday following the resignation of his predecessor amid a corruption and bribery scandal.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reshuffled his cabinet following the December resignations of three key ministers, including Minister of Interior Muammer Guler, and the firing of another minister.
The resignations and sacking were prompted by the December 17, 2013 announcement by prosecutors of a corruption investigation into Erdoğan's political and business allies. The sons of three ousted ministers were also arrested on charges related to the corruption investigation.
Erdoğan denied involvement in the graft scandal and asserted that he and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) "act according to the laws, and we will continue to do so. We will clean up possible rotten parts…If some small dark spot has emerged on our record and draws attention, it is only because our record is so clean white."
Two of the ministers who resigned, whose sons were among the arrested, alleged that the investigation was politically motivated. Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan wrote in his resignation statement, "It is very clear that the operation performed as of Dec. 17 is a dirty setup against our government, our party and our country. I have resigned from my post of economy minister to help bring out the truth and spoil this ugly game, which has included my child and my close colleagues."
Prior to Interior Minister Guler's resignation, he fired about one hundred police department security chiefs for failing to notify their superiors about the corruption probe.
[Hurriyet Daily News] [UPI] [Wall Street Journal]