Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved on Wednesday a law closing private preparatory schools, many of which are a source of income and influence for an Islamic cleric accused by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of seeking to topple him. The move highlights Gul's solidarity with Erdogan as the prime minister battles a corruption scandal he says has been orchestrated by the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whose "Hizmet" (Service) network wields influence in the police and judiciary. The scandal, which Erdogan has cast as a plot to oust him by a "parallel state" of Gulen's followers, came weeks after the government moved to shut down the prep schools, worsening the public row with the cleric's followers. Erdogan, currently campaigning around the country for municipal elections on March 30, has responded to the corruption scandal by reassigning thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges and prosecutors in what his aides have described as a bid to cleanse the judiciary of Gulen's influence.
Barcelona (AFP) - Lionel Messi was partnered by Neymar in attack as there were no surprises in Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino's side for the Catalans' Champions League last 16, second leg at home to Manchester City on Wednesday.