Five arrested in ‘parallel state’ probe in İzmir
DHA PhotoFive people, including a former official from Turkey’s Labor and Social Security Ministry and a university rector, have been arrested in the Aegean province of İzmir within an investigation into what the country’s president and his inner circle consider a terrorist organization formed to topple the government.
The five suspects, including former Social Security Ministry official Fatih Acar and Şifa University Rector Mehmet Ateş, were arrested in İzmir late March 10, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported, just days after the quintet along with three others were detained for allegedly providing financial and logistical support to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and those from his inner circle have repeatedly said was formed and headed by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Gülen is accused by the president and leading figures from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of forming and heading a terrorist organization to topple the government, with the U.S.-based cleric’s sympathizers allegedly working in the police and other state institutions.
The move came less than a week after a total of eight people, including Acar, Ateş and Engin Bilgili, the İzmir provincial head of Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK), were detained in the Aegean province early March 8 within the investigation launched by İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor Okan Bato into a claim that the eight had orchestrated the sale of several public lands in İzmir’s Buca district for a lower price than what they were actually worth.