Turkish parliament to reconvene next Weds amid graft scandal

ANKARA Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:12am EDT

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's parliament will reconvene for an extraordinary session on March 19, its speaker said on Friday, after the main opposition party demanded the recall to hear corruption allegations against four former government ministers.

The recall to debate the graft scandal will be unwelcome news for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as he campaigns for local elections. He has cast the scandal as a plot to smear him and his government by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally with influence in Turkey's police and judiciary.

Speaker Cemil Cicek, a senior member of Erdogan's ruling AK Party, told reporters the assembly would reconvene at 1300 GMT next Wednesday, in line with parliamentary rules. It is now in recess to allow campaigning for the local elections on March 30.

(Reporting by Seda Sezer, writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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