Investigation launched into graft probe police officers
Almost 800 police officers in Ankara and İzmir were reassigned in the latest wave of purges on Jan 30. DAILY NEWS photoAn official investigation has been launched into the police officers who carried out raids as part of the massive graft probe that has gripped the country, private broadcaster NTV reported Jan. 31. The development came after 14 police officers were returned to their posts after being removed following the police raid on a local Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) branch in southern Turkey.
NTV reported that the computers used by the police department’s financial organized crime units, which contain key information about the investigation, are being examined, upon a prosecutor’s decision.
Senior offices, including the head of the Istanbul Police Department’s organized crime desk during the raids, Nazmi Ardıç, and the head of the department’s financial crimes desk, Yakub Saygılı, will be interrogated as part of the investigation along with other officers, the report said.
Both were removed from their duties after the government responded to the probes, launching a vast purge within police departments across the country. The police chiefs of many cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, along with other officers in key positions have been sacked or relocated.
Almost 800 police officers in Ankara and İzmir were reassigned in the latest wave of purges on Jan. 30.
Backlash in dismissals after İHH raids
Meanwhile, 14 officers who were dismissed following the raid on the İHH’s Kilis office have returned to their posts. The raid had come as part of a wider operation targeting al-Qaeda members.
The removed police officers included Kilis provincial anti-terror department chief, Devlet Çıngı, and Van provincial anti-terror department chief, Serdar Bayraktutan.
In addition, removals at the Beyoğlu Police Department in Istanbul have been put on hold, after a stay of execution was issued by a local court.
The purges are considered the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) response against the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which it accuses of orchestrating the investigations through its followers, who are known to hold key positions within the police and the judiciary.