World

EU voices concern, urges transparency over Turkish corruption scandal

  • Riot police use water cannons to disperse protesters in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday faced mounting accusations of trying to cover up a corruption scandal that has implicated his allies after a prosecutor said he was being prevented from expanding a corruption probe. Erdogan was forced to reshuffle his government this week after three ministers, whose sons were detained as part of the probe, resigned. (AP Photo / Emrah Gurel)

    Riot police use water cannons to disperse protesters in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday faced mounting accusations of trying to cover up a corruption scandal that has implicated his allies after a prosecutor said he was being prevented from expanding a corruption probe. Erdogan was forced to reshuffle his government this week after three ministers, whose sons were detained as part of the probe, resigned. (AP Photo / Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters clash with riot police at a barricade in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday faced mounting accusations of trying to cover up a corruption scandal that has implicated his allies after a prosecutor said he was being prevented from expanding a corruption probe. Erdogan was forced to reshuffle his government this week after three ministers, whose sons were detained as part of the probe, resigned. (AP Photo / Emrah Gurel)

    Protesters clash with riot police at a barricade in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday faced mounting accusations of trying to cover up a corruption scandal that has implicated his allies after a prosecutor said he was being prevented from expanding a corruption probe. Erdogan was forced to reshuffle his government this week after three ministers, whose sons were detained as part of the probe, resigned. (AP Photo / Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union has expressed concern over a deepening corruption scandal that has ensnared Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's allies and urged the country to handle the issue in a "transparent and impartial manner."

The statement came amid opposition criticism that the government was trying to stifle the corruption investigation by dismissing police officials. The government also changed regulations on how probes are conducted but that move was overturned by a Turkish high court.

The EU's Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele welcomed the court's decision saying in the change in rules has undermined the judiciary's "capacity to act."

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt urged EU-candidate Turkey on Twitter Saturday to return to "EU-inspired and democratic reforms."

Erdogan says the probe is part of a conspiracy aimed at bringing his government down.