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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkish Coalition in Chaos as Probe Begins

ANKARA -- Turkey's young coalition reeled in disarray Thursday after the powerful Islamist opposition exploited weaknesses in the conservative partnership to launch a corruption probe against former premier Tansu Ciller.


The cabinet cancelled its scheduled weekly meeting in the first fallout from Wednesday's vote to investigate charges of graft, sponsored by the Islamists, against coalition partner Ciller.


Istanbul shares plunged 4.3 percent at the opening on concerns the pro-market compact between her True Path Party and the Motherland Party of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz could fall.


"Everyone has to be called to account," said State Minister Imren Aykut, an ANAP elder, of parliament's decision to probe allegations that Ciller, her tycoon husband and their associates manipulated state electricity contracts for personal gain.


"If the government breaks up, then that's too bad. You can't cover up corruption just for the sake of the government," she said.


Ciller, Turkey's first female prime minister, is due to regain office early next year under a power-sharing deal with fellow conservative Yilmaz.


Faced with the prospects of impeachment on the current allegations -- and potentially more devastating corruption charges to be considered early in May -- her prospects are very much in doubt.


Stocks later recouped somewhat