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Turkish Ministers Resign Over Corruption

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's environment minister stepped down on December 25, the third cabinet member to resign in one day over an antigraft probe.

Erdogan Bayraktar announced his resignation from the post and from parliament and called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to also step down.

Earlier December 25, Turkey's interior and economy ministers, Muammer Guler and Zafer Caglayan, announced their resignations amid a high-level corruption investigation that has pitted the government against the judiciary.

The sons of the three ministers were among some 24 people who were arrested on graft charges on December 17 in a case involving state-run lender Halkbank.

Erdogan has retaliated by purging police investigators involved.

He says the scandal is a foreign-orchestrated plot to destabilize Turkey, which during the Islamist-rooted premier's three terms has experienced an economic boom despite accusations of authoritarianism.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP