8th Jan 2014 – Istanbul (CNN) — In what appears to be a broader government purge of Turkey’s police force, 350 police officers were removed from their positions in the capital of Ankara on Tuesday. Police commanders were also removed from their posts in at least nine other cities around the country, the semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported. According to Turkish state media reports, most of the police officers affected were working in departments that battle terrorism, smuggling and organized crime.
“The majority of the chiefs and police in question were appointed to the traffic unit,” state broadcaster TRT reported on its website. The mass reassignment of police officers came amid reports of a fresh wave of police raids targeting suspects in a corruption case in the port city of Izmir.
The Turkish government first began firing and reassigning scores of police officers last month, after police detained dozens of suspects closely linked to the government in an anti-corruption investigation.
Police reportedly found large amounts of cash and a money counting machine in the home of the son of the interior minister, as well as shoe boxes full of cash in the residence of the director of the state-owned HalkBank.