Would the police con the police?

Would the police con the police?

The story is, however you slice it, tragicomic. According to Dilek Yaman’s story from daily Sabah, it starts with two forensic police officers in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district fabricating an “operation alert.” 

What kind of an operation alert did Ali B. and Abdülkadir E. make up? 

They said, “The MİT [National Intelligence Organization] is about to start an operation… In this operation 200 police officers who were involved in bribery, commission, looting and prostitution incidents will be detained …”


Let me give you the “good news.” There was no such operation.

But I should tell you, unfortunately, that as you proceed with the story, there is no other positive aspect. 

The two police officers were accompanied by one of their acquaintances, Mustafa A., who they introduced as a MİT official. This was an attempted scam actually. 

Sorry, I have one other good news: The scam did not work out properly. It did not succeed.

Let’s go back to the story…

The police officers started their story by telling two other officers on duty in Sultanbeyli, M.K. and R.G., about the operation.

They scared them, saying, “Look, this is so. Your names are on the list. Get ready…”

When they heard the news, M.K. and R.G. started panicking and asked their friends, “What should we do? What can we do?” The impostors told them, “Prepare 100,000 Turkish Liras each and the guy at the MİT will cross you off of the list of detainees.”

After negotiations, the 100,000 liras was reduced to 50,000 liras. Meanwhile, the matter was referred to the Public Security Department. A meeting was arranged at a cafe with cash with serial numbers recorded. The situation was recorded on cameras and the scamming police officers were caught. 

We can say it was a happy ending. I think it can be considered a happy ending; the attempted scam was stopped, the offenders were caught and the victims were saved. 

But, there are certain aspects that cannot be disregarded by just saying it had a “happy ending.” 

First, it is sad that police officers, whose job it is to catch swindlers, are trying to become swindlers. 

We have seen swindling, cheating and officers aiding and abetting gangs in the past, but this is not unique to the police department; in every profession there are wrongdoers.

Second, it is sad they were able to make their colleagues anxious, at least for a while, with a claim that “200 police officers who were involved in bribery, commission, looting and prostitution incidents will be detained,” a claim which would make whoever heard it react by saying “Come on. What are you saying?”

This anxiousness illustrates a concern: “If they blame me, even if I am innocent, the stain will remain.” It is a known fact that it affects everybody in general in society, not only the members of the police department but also members of the media and academia, retirees and civil servants. 

These unsigned tipoffs, made-up accusations and simple tricks have the power to make life unbearable for anyone you do not like, to finish lives and careers. 

For this reason, it is understandable that these police officers, even though they were innocent, would have been scared. 

These kinds of things can only happen at times when whistleblowing is credited and encouraged and those who are tipped off are obliged to prove their innocence.  

These kinds of concerns are seen only in societies that are trying to be disciplined by fear, where “different ones” are stigmatized by evil-minded mind readers as “traitors.”   

Fortunately, Turkey is no such country, and the police officers who tried to scam the other police officers were caught. 

We can all continue sleeping in peace…