Zeki Güven, a former police chief wanted in a sex tape plot targeting politicians, was captured in the western city of Eskişehir yesterday. Güven, who once headed powerful Intelligence Department at the police headquarters of the capital Ankara, is accused of being one of "golden children" of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). FETÖ is known for recruiting the young with the sole purpose of having them infiltrate into the law enforcement, judiciary, military and other institutions. The terrorist group which long posed as a religious movement has branded them "golden generation" who would represent religious values.
Güven was wanted for his links to FETÖ's plot to implicate politicians from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in two sex scandals. CHP chairman Deniz Baykal stepped down when the married politician's sex tape with a fellow party member emerged in 2010. More sex tapes - usually published online - followed, this time showing top administrators of the MHP having affairs, in subsequent years. They had also resigned from their posts. The plot is believed to be an attempt to reshape politics and indeed, the CHP for its part, saw landmark changes in its senior cadres after Baykal's exit.
The former police chief is among defendants on trial for sex tapes secretly recorded by police officers from Turkish National Police's intelligence departments. Fetullah Gülen, U.S.-based leader of the group is the prime suspect in the trial in the capital Ankara.
Police also detained suspect's wife Sevda Güven, a former judge who was also wanted for links to the terrorist group. Both were leaving a shopping mall when the police stopped the duo. Güven, who is also accused of involvement in FETÖ-linked police's illegal wiretapping and video surveillance cases, was often changing disguises and hideouts to avoid the capture, media outlets have reported.
A total of 171 defendants in the case are charged with establishing and running a terrorist group, violation of privacy and several other crimes. Prosecutors say a police intelligence unit, largely infiltrated by FETÖ members, actively plotted against Baykal and MHP politicians and planted video cameras and sound recorders in 12 different locations in the homes and offices of the politicians on the sex tapes, using the recorded footage "to serve the purposes of FETÖ."
Members of FETÖ already face a barrage of trials, especially in the aftermath of July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 250 people. FETÖ infiltrators in the army are accused of carrying out the putsch bid that was allegedly masterminded by Gülen and his point men that oversaw army infiltrators.
An investigation into who released the sex tapes was launched, but details had not resulted in an indictment for years, blamed by media outlets for lack of progress in the case as FETÖ members working in the case obstructed the investigation. Thousands of members of the cult have been dismissed from their duties, detained or arrested since the July 15 coup attempt. İbrahim Faruk Bayındır, a fugitive aviation tycoon accused of financing an online campaign against MHP executives, including the release of the sex tapes, is another suspect in the case. Bayındır is believed to be in the U.S., having fled after the investigation against him was launched.
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