18 police officers in Ankara detained in wiretapping operation
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULOct 21, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Oct 21, 2014 12:00 am
Ankara Police Department early Tuesday carried out operations as part of an investigation pertaining to the unlawful wiretapping of thousands of people including government officials and prominent figures by agents of the Gülen Movement.
The detentions are part of an ongoing police operation in the capital and other Turkish provinces to investigate the alleged creation of an illegal organization as part of a plot against the government.
The Chief Prosecutor's Office ordered the detention of the 18 suspects – one is already jailed in an Istanbul prison – 14 of whom were located in Ankara, the remainder in İzmir, eastern Siirt and Ağrı provinces.
One of the suspects is said to have been a former police officer who served in the country's National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the top spy agency.
To date, hundreds of police officers have been detained and testified in court. Suspects are accused of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials and of disclosing information of a highly sensitive nature as well as "forming an organization to commit crime and being a member of this organization," "violating privacy," "illegally seizing personal information" and "forgery of official documents."
Ömer Altıparmak, former head of the police intelligence unit in Istanbul, was among the suspects. He surrendered to Ankara police to testify following the issue of a detention order.
The Gülen Movement, led by Fethullah Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania, is accused of infiltrating Turkish state institutions through Gülenist agents in an effort to take over the country by a coup.
The movement is accused of wiretapping thousands of people including politicians, senior officials and prominent figures among others under fake terrorism related cases as well as false identities, along with broadcasting fabricated tape recordings of government officials and their relatives as part of the defamation campaign when a dispute erupted between the government and the movement due to the closure of prep schools in Turkey, a source of income for the movement and where it recruits and trains new Gülenists. Fethullah Gülen is currently facing charges of treason and the Turkish government may request his extradition from the United States if he is found guilty.