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Turkey widens purge in judiciary, central bank

Turkey's Islamic-rooted government has launched a new mass purge in the judiciary in its political fight against an erstwhile ally, and replaced five executives at the central bank.

ANKARA: Turkey's Islamic-rooted government has launched a new mass purge in the judiciary in its political fight against an erstwhile ally, and replaced five executives at the central bank.

The country's top judicial body the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) published on Wednesday a list of 2,224 judges and prosecutors who have been reassigned, the latest large-scale shakeup in the wake of a corruption scandal embroiling the government.

Thousands of police and prosecutors have been dismissed or reassigned in what critics have blasted as a government bid to stifle the graft probe launched last year that targets Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle.

Erdogan has blamed the scandal on supporters of his former ally, exiled Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen, who he accuses of trying to topple him.

Meanwhile, the central bank has replaced five executives after Erdogan's strong criticism of the interest rate policies pursued by its governor Erdem Basci, local media reported on Thursday.

In January, the bank aggressively hiked key interest rates, drawing the wrath of Erdogan who has banked on strong economic growth since coming to power in 2003.

Erdogan, who is tipped to run for the presidency in August, is accused of increasingly authoritarian policies and polarising the predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular nation.

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