The Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office decided to detain 44 suspected Gülen Movement-affiliated police officers accused of orchestrating illegal wiretaps of 59 people via terrorist organizations with fabricated documents.
The 45th suspect is the Gülen Movement's U.S.-based, self-exiled, controversial imam, Fethullah Gülen. Many well-known figures, including businessmen such as Ferit Şahenk, Ali Koç and Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, are among the victims. So far, 17 suspects have been detained in operations, 16 remain on the search list, including Gülenist former intelligence unit chiefs Ali Fuat Yılmazer, Erol Demirhan and Hayati Başdağ, who were sentenced to prison and will give testimony after being brought to court from prison. The investigation says that the 44 suspects tapped 59 people for five years and recorded their phone conversations. Elsewhere, the Istanbul 9th Criminal Court of Peace decided to appoint trustees to the Gülen Movement-linked Cihan Media Marketing Inc., Irmak Radio Television Services Inc. and Dünya Marketing Inc. The court says that movement-affiliated Feza Publications Inc. is a partner of Cihan Media Marketing Inc. and undertakes the distribution of the Gülen Movement-affiliated Zaman daily.
It also claims that Feza Publications Inc. illegally transferred all its assets to Cihan Media Marketing Inc.
The Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace decided on March 7 at the request of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to appoint three trustees to the Gülen-linked Cihan News Agency and Advertising A.Ş. The court said that the trustees are the same authorities that were earlier appointed at Zaman newspaper when it was taken over on Friday and said it will also manage the news agency. On Saturday, the contracts of Zaman Editor-in-Chief Abdülhamit Bilici and English-language daily Today's Zaman's former Editor-In-Chief and columnist Bülent Keneş were terminated. The company is accused of supporting what is called the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) in indictments, headed by Gülen, the members of whose movement are said to have infiltrated Turkey's state apparatus in an effort to overthrow the government.