Turkish PM Widens Purges

Erdogan claims conspiracy to undermine him


Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's purge of the police command spread to other state institutions on Friday, widening a crackdown on what he described as a foreign-backed conspiracy to undermine him and create a "state within a state".

The crisis, Erdogan's biggest challenge in 11 years as Turkey's leader, raised fears of damage to the Turkish economy and a fracturing in his AK Party, helping drive the lira to a historic low.

Erdogan ordered at least 14 senior police officers removed on Friday after the police launched a series of anti-corruption raids and detained senior businessmen close to Erdogan as well as the sons of three cabinet ministers.