More police officers behind bars over espionage, prosecutor seeks arrest of 13 others
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULAug 08, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Aug 08, 2014 12:00 am
A prosecutor sought the arrest of 13 police officers believed to be linked to the Gülen Movement on Thursday, as the inquest into illegal wiretapping activities continues. The move came just a day after four police officers linked to the movement - led by U.S.-based imam Fethullah Gülen - were arrested on Wednesday.
A total of 33 people were detained in the second wave of the investigation looking into Gülenists' espionage activities through illegal wiretapping; however, only four were arrested and prosecutors sought the arrest of 13. All the other suspects were either released after questioning by the prosecutor or once they were referred to a court on Wednesday. One of the suspects is still on the run and his whereabouts is unknown. The operation started with an early morning raid on a police lodging in Istanbul, but raids were also carried out in cities in the Kurdish-majority southeast including Diyarbakır. Tuesday's operation followed the first wave of nationwide detentions in late July which saw a total of 31 police officers and chiefs arrested. Over 100 police officers were detained on July 22.
In a curious development, an anonymous user on Twitter using the account @Fuatavni leaked the plans for the raids on Monday evening, correctly predicting the numbers of arrests and where. His account was blocked by the authorities but the user appeared to have predicted this too, telling followers to follow him from another account. According to reports in the Turkish media, the criminal investigation will turn its focus to suspects in the judiciary. Prosecutors and judges who became involved in illegal activities, including coup attempts against the elected government on Dec. 17 and 25, spying on state institutions and threatening state security, will be the first targets of upcoming operations, reports claimed. It is also now being reported that the government's fight will turn to Gülenists in the judiciary, as well as prosecutors who ruled there was a "lack of grounds for legal action" in nine cases opened against Gülen.
These prosecutors are accused of avoiding a detailed investigation into cases against Gülen. The operation will also target Istanbul's specially authorized prosecutors Sadrettin Sarıkaya and Bilal Bayraktar, who issued an arrest warrant for Hakan Fidan, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), accusing him of espionage and holding meetings with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and other PKK members.