Suspects in Turkey’s espionage probe face life sentences
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyThe Gölbaşı Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara has completed its investigation into suspects detained in an operation launched on claims that they wiretapped and spied on figures including then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, demanding life sentences for 28 people.
Police conducted a broad operation in January into the so-called “parallel structure” of sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the judiciary and security forces, detaining scores of officials from the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
The prosecutor’s office has charged the 28 suspects with “founding an organization to commit crime,” “violating the confidentiality of communication,” “disrupting the state’s unity and country’s integrity” and “spying in terms of politics and the military.”
Former TİB deputy president Osman Nihat Şen, former TİB Information Systems Department head İlhan Elieyoğlu and former president of the Informatics and Information Security Research Center (BİLGEM) Hasan Palaz are among the 28 suspects.
A summary of proceedings regarding the investigation will be prepared and sent to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, because there is no high criminal court in the town of Gölbaşı.
Some 40 million records on 800 servers of the TİB, the top wiretapping body at the time, were inspected before the raid on the institution and TÜBİTAK, revealing that 363 of the voice recordings belonged to top state officials and the top army brass.
Three of the wiretapped crypto-secure phones belonged to Erdoğan, with one of them probably being used by his son Bilal Erdoğan, according to sources.
Other wiretapped figures included Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was the foreign minister at the time, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan, cabinet spokesman Bülent Arınç, Constitutional Court head Haşim Kılıç, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and members of the National Security Council (MGK).