50 detained in fresh wave operations in Turkey's south

50 detained in fresh wave operations in Turkey's south

MERSİN – Doğan News Agency
50 detained in fresh wave operations in Turkeys south


Some 50 former police officers, including former police intelligence unit heads, were detained in a fresh wave of operations held primarily in the Mediterranean province of Mersin and seven other provinces early June 1 over allegations of wiretapping top government officials.

Ertuğrul Şenyiğit, who is a retired Turkish National Police Smuggling and Organized Crimes Unit deputy head, was among the detained. The police are currently searching for 13 others.

The operations have been held in the southern provinces of Mersin and Adana, the western province of Denizli, the capital Ankara, the Black Sea province of Samsun and the eastern provinces of Mardin, Bingöl, Van and Hakkari. The police held an intense search and confiscated several documents from the homes of Şenyiğit and other former police intelligence chiefs.

All detained, which included businessmen, were sent in groups to state hospitals for health check-ups and brought back to police departments for interrogation.

Ali Çengelci and Ali İhsan Kaya, former police intelligence chiefs of Mersin and deputy candidates of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), were not found at their addresses. Searching efforts for these two and 11 others are still in place.

A lawsuit previously filed against 25 police officers, who allegedly wiretapped 123 public officials, including several governors, deputy governors, judges, police officers, politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, is ongoing. Of the 25 police officers, 16 were already dismissed from their posts.

The indicted 25 are being tried in the Mersin Criminal Court over charges of violating private life, recording random conversations, slandering, fabricating false documents, becoming members of an illegal crime organization, unlawfully keeping private information, which all require serving at least three years in prison.