Turkish opposition: 'Govt cover up corruption claims'

ANKARA - Leader of Turkey's main opposition party claimed Tuesday that the ruling AK Party government has covered up corruption allegations against four former ministers. 

"A file that revealed all the corruption cases has been covered up by the AK Party, which is now an abettor," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told a meeting of his party's parliamentary group Tuesday.

In May 2014, a 14-member inquiry committee began its investigation into corruption allegations against former economy minister Zafer Caglayan, former interior minister Muammer Guler, former urbanization minister Erdogan Bayraktar and former EU affairs minister Egemen Bagis.

The committee later voted not to send the four ministers to trial before the Supreme Council, also known as the Constitutional Court, over corruption allegations with nine members voted against a trial while five voted in favor.

Last week, the Turkish parliament, in order to give the final decision over the trial of the ministers, held a secret parliamentary vote, which rejected calls for legal proceedings against all four former ministers at Turkey’s top court.

The CHP leader asked the public to grant his party a four-year period of power. "You will see how Turkey can be governed, how the rights of the people will be ensured, and how the bribe takers are brought to account," he said. 

Turkey will be go to the polls for parliamentary elections in June 2015 to elect 550 new members of the Turkish parliament.

Speaking at his own opposition party's parliamentary group meeting, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli harshly criticized Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's recent speech in the southeastern Batman and Diyarbakir provinces. 

Bahceli said Davutoglu "harmed national dignity" for the sake of "showing favor" towards the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is listed a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. 

"Davutoglu has been so vulgar to claim that Turkish and Kurdish are sister languages," said Bahceli.

He criticized Davutoglu for having "bought a grammar book to learn Kurdish... It is a rare case of degeneration that he equated Kurdish to Turkish."

In his speech in Batman and Diyarbakir in party meetings over the weekend, Davutoglu greeted the crowds in Kurdish and said those who discriminate between Turkish and Kurdish people are "treacherous," pledging "every citizen will live in justice in the country from the East to the West." 

"We will not allow discrimination between Turk and Kurd, or between Alevi and Sunni," the premier told the meetings.

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