More police officers detained in Turkey wiretapping probe

More police officers detained in Turkey wiretapping probe

More police officers detained in Turkey wiretapping probe Police launched an operation Jan. 27 in 11 provinces across Turkey to detain 26 police officers on charges of illegal wiretapping. 

Fifteen suspects have been detained so far in the operation, which followed an order by the İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

The suspects, including high-profile security officials, are accused of illegally wiretapping public officers, journalists and businessmen. 

The operation was announced on Jan. 26 by notorious whistleblower Fuat Avni, a person or people leaking details of a number of police and judicial operations before they occur via a Twitter account.

An Ankara court ruled Jan. 20 to block the Twitter and Facebook accounts of Fuat Avni before it opened a new account. 

The arrests follow a December 2013 graft probe that led to the arrest of several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading business figures.

The Turkish government has accused followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of engaging in illegal wiretapping and has also accused the network of attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state. It has denounced the December probe as a “dirty plot” constructed by a “parallel state” to overthrow the government.

The “parallel state” refers to an alleged group of Gülenist civil servants and senior officials embedded in Turkey’s state institutions, including the judiciary and the police.