ANKARA Feb 14 A former chief executive of
Turkey's state-owned Halkbank detained in December as
part of a corruption scandal that has shaken Turkey, was
released on Friday, local media said.
Suleyman Aslan was among dozens of prominent business
people, the sons of three cabinet ministers, and state officials
questioned as part of the graft inquiry portrayed by Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan as a plot to undermine him.
Halkbank's Iranian business ties have drawn Western
criticism although the bank has repeatedly said its dealings
with Iran are entirely lawful.
Erdogan sees the graft investigation as orchestrated by his
former ally, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers
are influential in Turkey's police force and judiciary.
The premier has responded by reassigning thousands of police
officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors, a move he says
is aimed at cleansing the system of Gulen's influence and making
it more independent.