Opposition calls for investigation into Turkish PM

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An opposition party leader on Tuesday demanded an investigation into Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for alleged corruption, a day after the disclosure of audio recordings purportedly of him ordering his son to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid a graft probe.

Erdogan met with Turkey’s intelligence chief shortly after voice recordings of two people — alleged to be Erdogan and his son — circulated on the Internet.

The voices were heard discussing means of getting rid of large amounts of money from an undisclosed residence.

A statement issued by Erdogan’s office later said the tapes were fabricated and that legal action would be taken against those responsible.

Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Action Party, on Tuesday called the recordings “mind-blowing” and urged prosecutors and other judicial bodies to intervene.

He said Erdogan should “not even think about” escaping blame by claiming the tapes were edited.

The Republican People’s Party, Turkey’s main opposition, called on Erdogan to resign, saying the government had lost its legitimacy.

On Tuesday, Erdogan lashed out at Turkish and foreign enemies he claimed were conspiring to bring his government down and again charged that the tapes were fabricated.

“This is a treacherous act against the prime minister of Turkey,” he said.

Party supporters chanted: “Stand still, don’t yield; the people are with you.”

The Associated Press cannot authenticate the audio recordings which reportedly took place on Dec. 17, when three Cabinet ministers’ sons were detained in the police corruption and bribery probe.

The government says the investigations were orchestrated by followers of a moderate Islamic movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who have allegedly infiltrated Turkey’s police and judiciary. Gulen denies involvement.

Erdogan says the group wants to discredit the government before local elections in March and a presidential election in August.

Associated Press

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