Turkish president suggests ministers embroiled in graft scandal could be replaced

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has indicated that government ministers embroiled in a corruption and bribery scandal could be removed from their posts.

Twenty-four people — including the sons of the economy and interior affairs ministers — were arrested last week on bribery charges as part of a police corruption probe that has targeted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's allies.

Erdogan has denounced the corruption probe as foreign plot to thwart Turkey's rise and damage his government ahead of local elections in March. He has ignored opposition calls for the immediate dismissal of the ministers.

Asked if the ministers involved would be removed, Gul said Tursday that Erdogan was "making preparations and assessments" on the issue, and that the two would meet this week. The president approves ministerial appointments.