Turkey corruption raids: Istanbul police chief fired

Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin (Front) leaves the police headquarters in Istanbul (18 December 2013) Huseyin Capkin (at right) had led Istanbul's police since 2009, apart from a brief spell elsewhere

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Istanbul's police chief has been sacked in the aftermath of mass arrests on Tuesday by officers investigating corruption claims, reports say.

Huseyin Capkin's dismissal comes a day after several senior officers, including his deputies, were removed.

Some 52 people, including three sons of ministers, were arrested in the dawn raids which prompted the dismissals.

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the inquiry as a "dirty operation" against his government.

Tuesday's arrests were carried out as part of an inquiry into alleged bribery involving public tenders.

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan now finds himself facing an opponent who is just as organised as he is: Fethullah Gulen”

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The sons of Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar were among those detained.

Many believe the arrests and firings reflect a feud within Turkey's ruling AK Party between those who back Mr Erdogan, and supporters of Fethullah Gulen, an influential Islamic scholar living in self-imposed exile in the US.

Members of Mr Gulen's Hizmet movement are said to hold influential positions in institutions such as the police, the judiciary and the AK Party itself.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Erdogan said he would not allow "political plotting".

Turkish newspaper Zaman reports that the AK Party is convening an extraordinary meeting at its Ankara headquarters.

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