VIDEO: Dozens of police officers detained in third wave operation
ISTANBULDozens of Turkish police officers, including a former chief of a police financial unit, were detained on Sept. 1 in the third wave of arrests over allegations that officers were involved in plotting against the government.
Arrest warrants were issued for 33 police, including 14 high-ranking officers, in 16 provinces. Charges include espionage and "seeking to overthrow the government."
The police force was not immediately available to comment.
Istanbul Chief Public prosecutor Hadi Salihoğlu said in a statement Sept. 1 that 32 of the police officers had been detained. The detained police officers included former police chief Yakup Saygılı was working at the team that staged the a bribery and corruption operation against 96 suspects, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, in the Dec. 25 investigation.
Dozens of police have been remanded in custody since July on charges that they formed a criminal organisation and bugged phones, part of what new President Tayyip Erdoğan has described as a plot against him.
The latest detentions came after Ahmet Davutoğlu took over from Erdoğan as prime minister last week following Erdoğan's victory in the country's first direct presidential election on Aug. 10.
Erdoğan, meanwhile, has hinted that operations against the “parallel state” will continue with further detentions, suggesting new raids.
“As you know, this is a continuation of a process. A new process started after the second wave [of detentions]. T is part of this process,” Erdoğan told reporters at a press conference Sept. 1.
He said he was “closely following” developments and hinted that there could be a fourth wave of detentions in line with the fresh evidence and documents that emerge from the third wave.
Some of the detained officers were involved in the corruption probes launched in December that targeted four government ministers. Erdoğan has long claimed the corruption allegations that forced the ministers to resign were part of a coup attempt by followers of Fethullah Gülen, a moderate Islamist preacher living in the United States.