Romantic intrigue complicates wiretapping scandal at Turkish prime ministry institution
Wiretapping devices have been found in the office of the head of the Directorate of Overseas Turks under the Prime Ministry. DHA photoTwelve people have been detained in three different cities as part of an operation launched concerning illegal wiretapping at a prime ministry institution in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Two women, identified as Fatma D. and Azime D., are accused of placing wiretapping devices in the office of the head of the Directorate of Overseas Turks under the Prime Ministry (YTB). They were detained on Sept. 20, along with a number of other officials, in an operation conducted by units from the Organized Crime Department of the National Police Department, Anadolu Agency reported, citing anonymous sources.
The operation, conducted in Istanbul and Ardahan in addition to Ankara, upon an order by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, is a result of a seven-month long technical and physical surveillance process. All detained suspects will be brought to Ankara, according to Anadolu Agency’s report.
The incident and the related investigation was first revealed on Sept. 17 by daily Türkiye. The daily claimed that two female founders of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were involved in the wiretapping at the YTB. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ confirmed the illegal wiretapping but denied reports that the suspects were among the founders of the party.
A report in daily Milliyet claimed on Sept. 20 that it had been discovered that the listening devices were placed by a women who suspected her partner, who worked at the institution, of having an affair.
According to Milliyet’s report, the woman contacted a group to conduct surveillance on her partner. The group then had two women, going by the initials F.A. and A.D., place a number of bugs in certain locations of the institute. The women further escalated the scandal by placing the bugs in both the office of the YTB president, Kemal Yurtnaç, and the conference room. The SIM cards used by the bugs had previously been used to call Iran, which led to suspicions of “spying.” However, when the real culprit was revealed, both the terrorism and intelligence agencies withdrew from the file. As the crime had “breached the privacy of one’s personal life,” the file was then transferred to the Organized Crime Department.