Turkey Detains Ministers' Sons in Corruption Probe

Could be a challenge to PM Erdogan's leadership


Turkish police detained sons of three ministers along with some prominent businessmen in a corruption inquiry on Tuesday, state officials said, in what was widely seen as a challenge to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan by a powerful Islamic cleric.

Police carried out dawn raids in the main commercial city Istanbul, detaining around 20 people including business figures close to Erdogan, and searched the headquarters of state-run Halkbank in the capital Ankara, state officials and banking sources said. Halkbank shares fell 13 percent.

Turkish commentators linked the sweep to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers have long held influential positions in institutions from the police and secret services to the judiciary and Erdogan's AK Party.