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Europe

Turkish Interior Ministry Orders German Charity Scandal Probe

The Turkish Interior Ministry has ordered an investigation into a multi-million-euro embezzlement scandal concerning Deniz Feneri, a German-Turkish charity with links to the ruling AK Party, it emerged late on Friday.

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Turkey and Germany have been investigating the Deniz Feneri charity

The order comes two days after a court in Frankfurt jailed two men convicted of embezzling 16 million euros that had been donated to the charity's German sister organization, intended as aid to poverty- stricken Muslims in Turkey, Pakistan and Palestine.

Interior Minister Besir Atalay was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as saying "I have charged inspectors from my ministry to look into recent allegations against the Deniz Feneri charity."

Zahid Akman, a senior government official in Turkey who was implicated as a mastermind behind the scam in the Frankfurt court ruling, is believed to be in Turkey although he has not been arrested.

Opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have alleged in recent weeks that his Justice and Development Party AKP also obtained funds from the scam. Erdogan has categorically denied this.

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