More Turkish police officers held in wiretapping probe

More Turkish police officers held in wiretapping probe

GAZIANTEP – Anadolu Agency
More Turkish police officers held in wiretapping probe

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Some twenty Turkish police officials were taken into custody on Jan. 5 across eight southern and central provinces, as part of an investigation into alleged illegal wiretapping.

According to Gaziantep Police Department’s Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Unit, the arrests came after a Gaziantep prosecutor issued arrest warrants for the officers.

As well as wiretapping, the police officers are accused of forging official documents and violating the privacy of individuals.

The arrests follow a December 2013 graft probe that led to the arrest of several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading business figures.

All those detained in the December operation were later released pending trial.

The Turkish government has accused followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of engaging in illegal wiretapping, and has also accused the network of attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state. It has denounced the December probe as a “dirty plot” constructed by a “parallel state” to overthrow the government.

The “parallel state” refers to an alleged group of Gülenist bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in Turkey’s state institutions, including the judiciary and the police.