The Turkish government on Friday extended the mass purges of bureaucrats into the banking regulator (BDDK), telecoms regulator (TIB) and state TV (TRT). Among those dismissed in the latest wave of purge, the deputy head of the BDDK and two department heads, who are said to be close to Erdogan's rival Fethullah Gulen , several department chiefs at TIB, and department heads at TRT. The government has already dismissed, replaced and reassigned thousands of police officers, and persecutors in response to the corruption investigation since December 17 . PM Erdogan says the graft probe is a plot carried out by local elements supported by international forces to undermine his rule. The government claims that followers of US-based cleric Gulen, have infiltrated the country's police and judiciary. On a separate note, the Saving Deposit and Insurance Fund (TMSF) on Saturday seized the assets of the main opposition party CHP's candidate for mayor of Istanbul , Mustafa Sarigul , for an unpaid loan he took in 1998. Sarigul claims the government is trying to sabotage his election campaign. Sarigul, popular mayor of the Sisli district in Istanbul , is the main challenger to the incumbent mayor of Istanbul , Kadir Topbas , from the ruling AKP, who is running for a third term. Polls have showed that Sarigul is still lagging behind Topbas. Also this weekend, clashes broke out in Istanbul between police and hundreds of demonstrators who opposed a government-sponsored internet law. Protesters also chanted anti-government slogans, calling for the government's resignation over the corruption scandal.
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