US denies role in Turkey’s anti-corruption operation

Ankara, Dec 22: The US government has denied a report suggesting that Washington is behind an ongoing graft probe in Turkey.

US Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone denied Saturday the claims that the US had become involved in the ongoing anti-corruption operation which has shaken the Turkish politics since Dec 17, Xinhua reported quoted him in a statement.

“The United States is in no way involved in the ongoing corruption and bribery operation. Nobody should put Turkey-US relations in danger with unfounded claims,” he said.

The statement was seen as a response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech earlier in the day, in which he slapped the corruption probe as “an ill-intentioned move by local and foreign actors targeting the government”.

“In recent days, some ambassadors have been engaging in provocative actions. I am calling out to them from Samsun: Do your own business,” Erdogan said.

On Tuesday, Turkey was rocked by the country’s largest ever bribery investigation, in which sons of four cabinet members were detained and a huge amount of money was seized by authorities in their houses.

A day later, the Turkish prime minister termed the graft probe as a “dirty operation” with international links to undermine Turkey’s growing economy.

IANS