Turkey launches new raids over illegal wiretapping

Turkey launches new raids over illegal wiretapping

Turkey launches new raids over illegal wiretapping

DHA Photo

Turkish police launched a new wave of raids on Feb. 8 in nine provinces against police officers who were accused of illegal wiretapping high-profile figures.

Istanbul prosecutors issued warrants for 21 officers, the official Anatolia news agency said. The raids were focused on Istanbul but also took place in the western province of Afyon and the Black Sea province of Zonguldak.

One police officer has been detained in Kırşehir, reports said.

The suspects are accused of illegally wiretapping then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then-head of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT), Hakan Fidan, and other high-ranking figures.

According to the results of studies conducted at the Istanbul Anti-Terror Department, private conversations recorded as part of a probe into the Selam-Tevhid organization were filed even though they were allegedly irrelevant to the investigation.
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 alleged that the network attempted 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.