Turkey has expanded its purging of official bodies to the banking and telecoms regulators as well as state TV, dismissing dozens of executives amid the ongoing corruption scandal that has shaken the ruling government. Thousands of police officers and about 20 prosecutors have been already reassigned. The authorities also fired some state television officials in response to the corruption investigation, the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's 11-year rule. Reports said on Saturday that three senior officials with top banking watchdog, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), were sacked. Five department chiefs from the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB), as well as a dozen of other people, including news editors and department heads at Turkey's state channel TRT, have also been fired. Erdogan has described the corruption scandal against government officials and top businessmen as a disguised international plot. According to Hurriyet daily, the BDDK dismissals followed the release of leaked tapes which allegedly belong to a US-based preacher named Fethullah Gulen . "We have men at BDDK," the voice on the tape said. The Turkish premier has accused Gulen of instigating the corruption investigation. The investigation broke out on December 17, 2013 , after Erdogan's allies were arrested on graft charges. The Turkish premier was then forced to carry out a major cabinet reshuffle after three of his ministers resigned as their sons were detained in the probe. RA/MB
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