Spying probe spreads to telecom body
The prosecutor is investigating claims that TİB’s archive was completely erased before being copied and given to persons from outside of the institution. Corbis PhotoCounterterrorism units from the Ankara Police Department raided Turkey’s telecommunications agency and seized all servers as part of an espionage probe into claims that sensitive data from the institution was leaked to foreign countries via satellite links.
The raid into the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), kept confidential until the last minute, was launched over the weekend as part of the probe being conducted by Gölbaşı Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile Transportation Minister Lütfi Elvan downplayed the raid on the TİB, saying the head of the body was informed about the visit. “The investigation is ongoing. These are being done completely within the knowledge of the TİB presidency,” Elvan said June 1.
The prosecutor is investigating claims that TİB’s archive was completely erased before being copied and given to persons from outside of the institution. There are also claims that the entire digital memory and log records belonging to the years before 2012 were particularly erased.
In late April, when announcing the investigation the prosecutor’s office cited claims published in the media, alleging that the entire database of the TİB was leaked via foreign satellites to an unknown location with satellite dishes at the TİB building, which were then left inoperable. “An investigation has been launched due to the reports claiming that important and sensitive information kept by the state and the TİB was leaked to foreign countries through foreign satellites before being deleted ultimately for the purpose of espionage for foreign countries,” the prosecutor’s office said at the time.
On exactly the same day when the Gölbaşı Prosecutor Office’s statement was released, a member of the Cabinet disclosed that an investigation against Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Islamic scholar that fell out with the government, was launched by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on charges of “attempting to annul the government of the Republic of Turkey; or attempting to partially or entirely block the government from performing its duties.” In early May, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said at a party meeting that the Gülen movement started wiretapping the government since five years.