Seven of the 52 people arrested on Tuesday in a corruption crackdown in Turkey have been released.
But the country’s prime minister continues to denounce the operation as an attempt to smear his administration.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the detention of many of his allies was a dirty operation ahead of next year’s elections and a bid to undermine the country’s progress.
In an address the prime minister reacted to the corruption probe which is Turkey’s biggest since he swept to power in 2002 with a warning:
“As we fight to establish Turkey in the top 10 countries of the world by 2023 there are some,” he said, “who are engaged in an effort to halt our fast growth.”
Police searching the homes of some of the detained which included the sons of three cabinet ministers, found what was described as millions of euros in cash hidden in shoe boxes.
Following the arrests, the government hit back by removing senior police officers from their posts accusing them of abusing their office in organising the raids.
At the same time it said it would not intervene in the investigation.
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