Police have taken a total of 44 people into custody in a "parallel state" operation launched Tuesday in İzmir and in 17 other provinces across Turkey, security sources said.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the suspects were detained for "acting outside of their legal authorities." The suspects are accused of playing a role in the possibly erroneous designation of defendants in another previous case in 2012. In effect, the latter were accused in 2012 of "keeping military information and documents of a confidential nature."
Among the fresh batch of detainees are reportedly a former İzmir police chief, two deputy police chiefs and some governors. The detainees were taken to the department of anti-smuggling and organized crimes in İzmir.
According to the government, the "parallel state" refers to a purported group of bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and police, who are allegedly trying to undermine the elected government. The ongoing operation against the "parallel state" has resulted in the detention of dozens of police officers and the reassignment of hundreds of other officers across Turkey.
The structure is led by U.S.-based fugitive imam Fethullah Gülen. The Gülen Movement is accused of carrying out illegal wiretapping and terrorist activities to bring down the democratically elected government. Its members are believed to have infiltrated government institutions such as the police and judiciary to be able to conduct operations against what it considers a foe.
Recently, fugitive imam Gülen has been listed among Turkey's most wanted terrorists by the Interior Ministry. Apart from Gülen himself, 10 more were listed as wanted terrorists. The Gülen Movement has been numerously exposed for its illegal espionage activities.