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Turkish PM investigated for corruption

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the subject of a corruption inquiry, state-run media said Tuesday, as opposition parties demanded that his government resign.

Ankara's chief prosecutor initiated an investigation into audio recordings - purportedly of Erdogan and his son arranging to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid a graft probe, the Anadolu agency reported.

Erdogan met with Turkey's intelligence chief shortly after the voice recordings circulated on the Internet on Monday. The voices were heard discussing means of getting rid of large amounts of money from an undisclosed residence.

A statement issued by Erdogan's office later said the tapes were fabricated and that legal action would be taken against those responsible. It was not clear if the investigation was to determine the recordings' authenticity or whether they represented a possible criminal act.

Earlier Tuesday, Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey's far-right Nationalist Action Party, called the recordings "mind-blowing" and urged prosecutors and other judicial bodies to intervene. The Republican People's Party, Turkey's main opposition, claimed to have verified the authenticity of the recordings through "three or four channels" and called on Erdogan to either resign or "flee (Turkey) by helicopter."

Erdogan lashed out at Turkish and foreign enemies he claimed were conspiring to bring his government down and again charged that the tapes were fabricated. "This is a treacherous act against the prime minister of Turkey," he said.

The Associated Press cannot authenticate the recordings, which reportedly took place on Dec. 17 when three Cabinet ministers' sons were detained in a police corruption and bribery probe.

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