The relentless crackdown against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Turkey has led to more detentions yesterday in a prominent business conglomerate, while warrants were issued for 105 suspects in relation to a cheating scandal in an exam FETÖ used to infiltrate into bureaucracy.
In Istanbul, police raided the offices and residence of Erem Turgut Yücel, the chief legal adviser of Doğan Holding, and Yahya Üzdiyen, who served as the company's CEO between 2012 and Jan. 2016.
Two men were detained as part of an investigation into employee links to the terror cult, which usually recruits followers either by persuasion or by blackmail. This follows the detention and subsequent arrest of Barbaros Muratoğlu, a representative of the company in the capital Ankara, in December.
Doğan Holding said in a statement that the police search at the company's headquarters in Istanbul's Üsküdar district covered only the personal offices of Üzdiyen and Yücel and it did not affect operations of the company and its subsidiaries. The company, which has interests in media, finance, energy and tourism, runs the Turkish affiliate of CNN and the prominent newspaper Hürriyet.
Founded by Aydın Doğan, who now serves as "honorary" chairman of the conglomerate, Doğan Holding has been subject to several investigations and fines in the past for tax evasion allegations. Still, the company itself was not investigated for links to FETÖ, which is known to have a wide following in the Turkish business world.
Barbaros Muratoğlu was the first name to be detained and arrested for links to FETÖ from Doğan Holding, which long claimed to be a victim of FETÖ-linked tax inspectors who punished them by tax fines for opposing the terror cult. Doğan's media outlets have also gone on the defensive after the arrest of Muratoğlu by stating that CNN Türk was among the first TV channels that had broadcast President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's live call for the public to resist the July 15 coup attempt blamed on FETÖ.
A report in the Sabah newspaper has claimed Muratoğlu served as "a mediator" between Aydın Doğan and Fetullah Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania in the U.S., and was a visitor to the posh retreat Gülen stays at in the United States. Muratoğlu was also allegedly assisted by infiltrators of FETÖ in the judiciary and law enforcement to resolve the legal problems of Doğan.
Anadolu Agency reported that "new evidence" in Muratoğlu's investigation led to the detentions of Yücel and Üzdiyen. Police confiscated computers and cellphones belonging to Üzdiyen and Yücel.
Also on Thursday, prosecutors in Istanbul issued detention warrants for 380 businessmen for financing FETÖ. Businessmen were being detained in 35 cities while some 110 suspects are believed to be abroad. The Sabah newspaper reported they collected donations from cult members and reaped revenues from illegally imported goods through a FETÖ-linked company.
In another investigation into FETÖ, police detained 74 people in operations in 31 provinces. All suspects were women and they were wives of military officers involved in the July 15 coup attempt.
Thirty-one suspects with detention warrants remain at large in the investigation that focuses on a cheating scandal in a 2010 exam. FETÖ is accused of stealing questions and answers to the Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) and supplying it to its followers to gain a foothold in bureaucracy.
The detentions were made upon the orders of Ankara prosecutor Yücel Erkman, who investigated the cheating allegations regarding the now-canceled exam. Some 75 suspects work as civil servants and media outlets reported their professions ranged from lecturers to IT experts. All were wives of career officers known for their links to the terror cult.
The husbands of some of the suspects were donors to the cult, had contact with senior figures of FETÖ and used Bylock, an encrypted messaging app almost exclusively used by FETÖ members in Turkey.
Kevser Tümer, a woman among the suspects, is the wife of a major who worked at NATO in Europe and sought asylum from Belgium following the foiled coup attempt. Her brother was also arrested for threatening a prosecutor over the KPSS investigation.
Four trials are underway for civil servants who cheated during the exam, while prosecutors believe thousands of people were assigned to ministries, Parliament and the national intelligence agency (MIT) thanks to the exam.
Under statutory decrees, as part of the state of emergency declared in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt, Ankara will cancel the assignments of civil servants suspected of cheating.
Prosecutors say out of the 3,227 people passing the exam with the highest grades, 1,970 had intricate ties including multiple phone calls and more than half of them skipped the new exam held after the 2010 edition was canceled over cheating allegations, in order to dodge suspicion.
The indictment also claims "61 percent" of the suspects had ties to Mehmet Hanefi Sözen and Nebil Ekiz, two suspects, currently at large, who were working at a prep school and a nongovernmental organization linked to the terror cult when they allegedly obtained questions and answers to the exam and distributed them to FETÖ followers.
Prosecutors say 896 participants who scored highly on the exam were married couples. Other interesting links between the suspects are that the majority of the suspects who scored high marks in the exam were working in the same companies and most of them gave the same address as the address of residence while applying for the exam.
to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the
used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan
ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen