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Turkey prosecutors launch probe into railway corruption

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday said they had launched an investigation into the national rail authority over corruption claims in public tenders, widening a graft probe that has rocked the government.

The announcement comes after the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported that prosecutors were investigating TCDD (Turkish State Railway) director Suleyman Karaman on charges of "corruption," "tender fraud" and "establishing a criminal organisation."

"An investigation was launched following allegations, but the claims referred to in media reports do not reflect the reality," the Ankara prosecutor's office said.

Nobody has been arrested in connection with the investigation, it added.

The latest investigation comes as part of a high-level bribery and corruption probe that has prompted the resignation of three cabinet ministers and led to calls for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down.

Two dozen people have been charged so far, suspected of numerous offences including accepting and facilitating bribes for development projects and securing construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131225/turkey-prosecutors-launch-probe-railway-corruption