Turkish police detain 46, including high-ranking officials, in ‘parallel state’ operation
AA photoAt least 46 people, including a number of high-ranking officials and security personnel, were detained in 18 Turkish provinces on Nov. 3, as part of an anti-terror operation in the Aegean province of İzmir against the followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Among the 46 people detained were former İzmir Police Department Chief Ali Bilkay, former Deputy Police Chiefs Mehmet Ali Şevik and Ramazan Karakaya, a high-ranking police officer in the eastern province of Elazığ, off-duty governors and deputy governors, and other senior officials.
The police raided multiple locations and detained at least 44 people early on Nov. 3, on charges of “keeping militarily confidential information and documents” and “committing out-of-duty actions,” the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The targeted a purported illegal organization that Erdoğan and the government describe as the “Fetullahist Terrorist Organization,” daily Hürriyet reported.
According to the Hürriyet report, detention warrants have been issued for a total of 57 people, including Gülen.
The operation in İzmir came as part of an investigation launched by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The move came less than a week after the Istanbul police used force on Oct. 28 to enter the headquarters and seize control of media outlets owned by the Koza İpek Group. Police dramatically broke into the main broadcasting room and shut down the group’s two TV stations upon a court ruling, which placed the media group’s management under a trustee panel during the ongoing judicial probe into Koza İpek’s purported ties to Gülen.
Gülen has long been accused by Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials of forming a “parallel structure” in the police and other state organizations aiming to topple the government.