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A number of police chiefs who were assigned to critical positions in the Istanbul Police Department following the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption scandal were removed from their posts on Tuesday.
According to the Dogan news agency, Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa andcaliikan replaced Intelligence Unit Chief Edip Vural with Serdar Ali Sekkin, Crime Branch Unit Chief andOmer Burak Aktai with Gaffar Demir, Anti-Smuggling Unit Chief Aydin Yilmaz with Feramuz andcetin and Financial Crimes Unit Chief Hakan Sirali with andOmer Kumlu. The removed police chiefs are expected to be reassigned to various posts around Turkey in the coming days.
In a similar vein, Caner Coiar was appointed police chief of the Beiiktai district, Hakan Torun as police chief of Gaziosmanpaia, ismail Dinandcer andOiandut as police chief of Eyandup and ismail Kiliandc as police chief of the Beyoilu district.
The high-level police officers were appointed to their posts following the largest-ever corruption scandal in the country that erupted on Dec. 17, 2013 and implicated 53 people, including bureaucrats, prominent businessmen, four former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) ministers and people from the inner circles of then-prime minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The four ministers resigned as a result of the investigation.
Thousands of police officers — including those who carried out the graft probe andndash were transferred, suspended or arrested as part of government-orchestrated operations against the police force.
Among the police chiefs who were removed from their posts, Financial Crimes Unit Chief Sirali is the most striking. Sirali gave the order for the Sept. 1, 2014 operation in which 33 police officers were detained as part of an investigation into those who were involved in a major corruption operation last year.
The officers had carried out the corruption operations of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013. In addition, they had investigated Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, among other corruption suspects. Zarrab is accused of bribing Turkish officials to obtain his Turkish citizenship as well as laundering massive amounts of money. Eight of the police officers were eventually arrested and are currently awaiting trial.
Sirali, who was formerly chief of the Maltepe Police Department in Istanbul, was eventually appointed as the head of the financial crimes unit of the Istanbul Police Department after the major corruption and bribery investigation of Dec. 17.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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