Gülenist intelligence team faces life sentence over wiretapping
by Aliye Çetinkaya
ISTANBULJun 10, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Aliye Çetinkaya
Jun 10, 2015 12:00 am
Prosecutors have asked for multiple life sentences for three former top officers at the Turkish National Police intelligence department over illegal wiretapping as part of a criminal organization. The wiretapping, including that on the phone of former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, was for the "Gülenists organization," a name attributed to the Gülen Movement by prosecutors.
An indictment as part of the investigation into the illegal wiretapping of 48 people's phones was sent to the court. Prosecutors claim that the wiretapping was done for the benefit of Gülenists, who are accused of imprisoning their critics with forged evidence. The movement is also accused of tapping encrypted phones of top state officials.
Among the accused is Ramazan Akyürek, a former head of the intelligence department who is currently in prison for his involvement in the murder of a journalist in 2007. Akyürek and two other top officers in the intelligence department allegedly carried out illegal wiretapping operations in a systematic way and "to serve the goals of the Gülenist organization." The Gülen Movement, headed by U.S.-based controversial cleric Fethullah Gülen was revealed to have infiltrators in the police and judiciary and is accused of establishing a vast network of intelligence through wiretapping used for blackmail and to forge evidence. Akyürek faces 860 years in prison on a string of charges including establishing a criminal organization, forgery of official documents, violation of communication privacy, violation of privacy, illegal data accumulation and defamation.
The suspects are accused of wiretapping phones under fake identities in a fake investigation. They are also accused of deleting the logs of the tapped phones when they were transferred to other police units to hide the evidence of their crimes.
The victims of the wiretapping include Erbakan. His phone calls were tapped for three months in 2009 under a fake name.
Other figures whose phone calls were tapped include former ministers, lawmakers, politicians, police chiefs, top bureaucrats as well as a number of journalists and columnists.
Gülenist police officers allegedly wiretapped hundreds of government officials and others while investigating the Tawhid-Selam terror organization - a fabricated terrorist organization - from 2011 to 2013. Tawhid-Salam was originally the name of a magazine that was controversially attributed to a terrorist organization in the 1990s and was reused by members of the Gülen Movement allegedly to fabricate evidence for unlawful spying purposes. The phones of hundreds of people from different social, economic, political and ideological backgrounds were tapped for allegedly being members of a terrorist organization.