| ISTANBUL, March 14
ISTANBUL, March 14 A Twitter account behind
a string of leaks in a Turkish corruption scandal posted late on
Thursday what it presented as police files detailing graft
allegations against four former ministers, dealing a further
blow to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan weeks before elections.
The Twitter account using the pseudonym
@HARAMZADELER333 posted links to a 299-page document and a
32-page document presented as police files from an investigation
that became public on Dec. 17 with a series of dawn raids.
Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the documents.
The former ministers have denied any wrongdoing.
Former interior minister Muammer Guler, former economy
minister Zafer Caglayan and former environment minister Erdogan
Bayraktar each saw a son detained on Dec. 17 as police went
public with their long-running corruption inquiry. All three
resigned just over a week later.
Former EU minister Egemen Bagis was replaced in a reshuffle.
The corruption scandal has grown into one of the biggest
challenges of Erdogan's 11-year rule and comes as his AK Party
is campaigning for pivotal municipal elections on March 30.
Guler and Caglayan echoed Erdogan in depicting the
corruption inquiry as baseless and a conspiracy when they
resigned, but Bayraktar turned against the prime minister,
calling at the time for him, too, to quit.
Police files on the four ex-ministers were sent
to parliament in late February, where a summary would usually be
read aloud to deputies. However, the assembly went into recess
for the election campaign period shortly afterwards and the
files have been kept under lock and key ever since.
On Thursday, Turkey's opposition demanded a recall
of parliament to hear the allegations against the four former
Erdogan has cast the graft scandal as a plot to smear him
by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based former ally
with influence in Turkey's police and judiciary. Gulen has
denied orchestrating the corruption investigation.
(Humeyra Pamuk reported from Gaziantep; Writing by Nick
Tattersall; Editing by Toni Reinhold)