Erdoğan asked for help with son during corruption probe - ex-judicial chairman

The former chairman of Turkey’s top judicial board on Wednesday said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called him during the 2013 probe into alleged corruption around him and his inner circle, asking for help with his son Bilal who was possibly facing police detention, independent news site T24 reported.

The government corruption probe in 2013, which Erdoğan maintains was carried out on the instructions of Fethullah Gülen, accused by Ankara of orchestrating the July 2016 coup, led to the resignation of three ministers and prompted the Turkish president to purge the state apparatus, reassigning thousands of police and hundreds of judges and prosecutors believed to be loyal to Gülen.

Former chairman of the first chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) İbrahim Okur, who is on trial for membership in the Gülen movement, gave details of a phone conversation he had with Erdoğan during the probe as he took to the stand, the site said.  

‘’He told me that Zekeriya Öz was involved in illegal activities and according to what he heard, authorities could be arriving at their home in Kısıklı [Istanbul] to detain his son Bilal. He asked me for help in not allowing for lawless acts,’’ T24 quoted Okur as saying.

Öz is the former chief prosecutor of Istanbul who exposed the corruption scandal and fled Turkey before an arrest warrant was issued for him on charges of attempting to overthrow the government forcefully and forming a criminal organisation.

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