500 state bureaucrats investigated in espionage case

500 state bureaucrats investigated in espionage case

İZMİR - Hürriyet
500 state bureaucrats investigated in espionage case

The investigation against the espionage gang started in 2009. Dozens of people, including 59 active-duty-soldiers have been detained so far. DHA photo

Several top state institutions, including the interior, foreign, finance and labor ministries, have launched an internal investigation into around 500 bureaucrats for having allegedly leaked information and documents related to the institutions to which they are affiliated. 

The names of all probed bureaucrats were cited in the indictment of a trial on a prostitution gang suspected of spying on state officials, daily Hürriyet reported on April 10.

The investigation against the espionage gang started in 2009 after allegations arose that the suspected reportedly targeted active-duty officers, most of them working at the Turkish Navy, with details about the location of a war craft radar. The suspects were also charged with listening to private phone conversations, sending escort girls to the officers' homes and spying on them through cameras. 

However the investigation has been extended to state institutions, after the investigators discovered that many bureaucrats were connected to the gang. The prosecutor of the case reportedly wrote to the main institutions in Ankara, including the President’s and the Prime Minister’s Offices, warning that some of the personnel had entered into contact with “escort girls that had contagious diseases” associated with the gang.

In the correspondences, the prosecutor also sent the names of the officials involved, as well as the escort girls’ medical reports. Following the information given by the prosecutor, many of the institutions launched their own internal investigation to determine the links between their personnel and the gang put on trial. 

Five senior bureaucrats accused of leaking information, among them two officials of Turkey’s banking watchdog BDDK, two working at the Social Security Council (SGK), and another affiliated to the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority (TAPDK), have been discharged of their duty, according to daily Hürriyet. Meanwhile, other bureaucrats have reportedly been sidelined from their tasks until the end of the investigation. 

As the investigation into the case brought to light the involvement of senior names, the Interior Ministry has removed the inspectors who prepared the first report, instead commissioning a chief inspector authorized to inspect top officials.