Over 9,000 Turkish police officers suspended over suspected links to Gülen
AA photoSome 9,103 Turkish police officers were suspended late on April 26 for their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt.
Among the suspended were 19 police officers, including 9 top-ranked personnel, holding various positions at the Department of Presidential Security, which is responsible of close protection of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family.
Department of Presidential Security police officers provides security for every premise and facility that Erdoğan attends to, including the Presidential Palace in the capital Ankara. The department is responsible from providing services for presidency offices and surrounding premises for 24 hours.
A total of 36 police officers of the Parliament Security Service, including 2 high-ranking personnel, were also among the suspended on April 26.
Former Istanbul police chief suspended
Among the 9,103 suspended police personnel is another striking name, Celal Yılmaz, who had made the headlines in 2015 for being arrested after shooting dead a motorcyclist during a quarrel in traffic.
His later acquittal of the murder charges by an Istanbul court had caused public indignation.
The latest suspensions came on the same day that Turkish officials detained 1,1200 suspected Gülenists in the police forces.
The “secret imams” were detained in simultaneous early-morning raids across Turkey, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said.
“This is an important step for the Republic of Turkey,” he said.
The detentions came as part of an operation coordinated by 8,500 officers targeting the alleged Gülenist infiltration of the police in all 81 of Turkey’s provinces.
The operations were carried out as part of a probe led by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The nationwide search for other suspects was continuing.
Tens of thousands of public service workers have been suspended since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.