Five officers detained for ‘coup attempt’ in third wave of spying operation
Former Istanbul financial crime unit chief Yakup Saygılı was detained on Sept. 1. Saygılı has been involved in the graft probe raids on Dec. 17, 2013, that had shaken the country. DHA PhotoFive police officers were arrested by an Istanbul court Sept. 4 for “attempting a coup” as part of the third wave of an operation into allegations of wiretapping and plotting against the government.
The arrested officers include former Istanbul financial crime unit chief Yakup Saygılı, whose teams were involved in the graft probe raids on Dec. 17, 2013, against suspects that included the sons of three ex-ministers. Saygılı also worked on a team that was preparing to execute orders to detain other suspects, including then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, on Dec. 25, 2013. Saygılı was discharged and relocated right after the launch of the graft probes amid a controversial purge within the police.
Seven other officers have been released pending trial while eight officers have yet to be referred to the court after their interrogation.
Some 33 officers were detained Sept. 1 as part of the third wave, including 14 high-ranking officers accused of being involved in the wiretapping of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other government officials.
Dozens of police officers arrested in operations conducted last month are in custody pending trial on charges that they established a criminal organization and conducted espionage.
The government refers to them as a “parallel state,” accusing them of bugging phones and wiretapping their conversations in an attempt to overthrow the government.
Erdoğan has repeatedly accused U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose followers are known to have influential positions within the police and judiciary, of conducting the graft investigation in December, further claiming that the accusations of corruption were part of a coup attempt.
Massive purges were carried out within the police and the judiciary since, with many high-ranking officials relocated elsewhere.
Following the latest detentions last week, the new Cabinet has also presented the “fight against the parallel state” as one of its priorities, while Erdoğan has suggested that more waves could come.