About 350 police officers in Ankara, the Turkish capital, were removed from their posts overnight, Turkish news outlets reported on Tuesday, the largest single purge of the police force since a corruption investigation plunged the government into crisis last month.
The dismissals were seen by analysts in Turkey as part of a continuing effort by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to marginalize those it believes are driving the investigation. The government has already dismissed more than a dozen high-ranking police officials, prompting accusations of interference in the judicial process.
(Read more: Thank Turkey for the euro's spike versus dollar)
The intervention in the ranks of law enforcement for what appear to be political motives, analysts said, underlines Mr. Erdogan's encroaching authoritarianism after nearly a decade in power as well as his sense of panic ahead of pivotal local elections in March.
Once a darling of the West committed to linking Turkey's future to the European Union, Mr. Erdogan has since sought to fashion Turkey as a regional power in the Middle East, while the European Union's influence in Turkey has waned.