Turkish spy probe documents ‘leaked from ministry’

Turkish spy probe documents ‘leaked from ministry’

Turkish spy probe documents ‘leaked from ministry’

In this 2014 file photo, supporters of suspects in the military espionage case in İzmir carry a placard calling the case a "plot" while demanding the release of suspected soldiers. DHA Photo

In investigation by the Turkish Interior Ministry has revealed that millions of pages of documents used to build an indictment in a 2012 espionage case were actually leaked through the Interior Ministry at the time.
Inspectors from the Interior Ministry discovered the documents in a database called “Pandora” were leaked by the-then head of the Information Technologies Department of the Interior Ministry, İlhan Uran, who had set up a special line that enabled him access to all of the information on Pandora, daily Milliyet newspaper reported yesterday. Through this special line, Uran was able to follow all significant correspondence. Uran also provided himself clearance to see all computers at the ministry, including the one used by the minister, when they were on.

The 2012 espionage case involved the trial of 357 people, including soldiers, accused of possessing secret military information and documents. Those defendants have been released but the case continues.

On Nov. 3, Turkish police detained dozens of people including senior police officers and civil servants allegedly linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foe Fethullah Gülen. The prosecutor’s office in the western city of İzmir said it ordered the arrest of 57 people believed to be members of the “Gülenist terror group” on allegations they sought a purge of the army by engineering a 2012 espionage trial. Gülen was the “number one” suspect in the latest investigation, according to the Doğan News Agency. There are several cases against Gülenists, or followers of Gülen who are accused of building “a parallel structure” or “parallel state,” particularly through their followers holding influential posts in the judiciary and police.

Police detained 44 of the suspects in dawn raids, including a former İzmir police chief and three state governors, in an operation covering 18 provinces, state-run Anadolu Agency said. Arrest warrants were issued for the other 13.

Tender for document scanning system

The İzmir prosecutor’s office said in a statement there was “serious evidence” that the 57 suspects sought to use the 2012 case to orchestrate a purge in the state civil service and the military. The Interior Ministry assigned inspectors around a year ago to investigate whether documents used as evidence in the military espionage case were “classified” and whether they were leaked from the ministry, Milliyet said. 

The Prime Ministry had instructed all state institutions with a 2008 circular to set up Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) in line with the TSE 13298 certificate.

However, it took long for the Interior Ministry to set up this system, as it was completed by late August 2013, Milliyet said. Underlining that the military espionage case in İzmir started in May 2012, operations involving those documents in Pandora from 2008 to 2012 could not have been tracked yet, the report said.