Another ruling party MP quits over Turkey corruption scandal: media

Another ruling party MP quits over Turkey corruption scandal: media

ANKARA - Another lawmaker from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced his resignation on Tuesday amid a high-level bribery and corruption probe, local media reported.

Hasan Hami Yildirim had criticised the government for exerting pressure on the judiciary over the corruption investigation that has rattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power.

A string of public figures including high-profile businessmen and the sons of three ministers were detained on December 17 over allegations of bribery for construction projects as well as illicit money transfers to neighbouring Iran.

Five MPs including a former culture minister have resigned from the AKP since the raids, which the government has suggested were instigated by supporters of an influential US-based Turkish cleric.

The scandal has thrown up a major challenge to Erdogan after 11 years in power and led to a comprehensive cabinet reshuffle after the resignation last week of three ministers whose sons were implicated in the probe.

Tensions have been mounting ahead of elections between the AKP and a former ally, influential Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose supporters hold key positions in the police and the judiciary.

The latest resignation has dropped the number of AKP seats in parliament to 320 out of 550.

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