Five people from the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), including the President Osman Yıldırım, have been arrested on Friday over allegations of corruption and money laundering.
Earlier on Monday, 10 people from THK were detained for "irregularities" in the association. Ankara's Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of Investigation of Smuggling and Financial Crimes Bureau ordered the arrest of five out of seven suspects who had been referred to the court. The Other three officers were released after they testified.
Turkish media reported Yıldırım's detainment came after confidential designs of Türkkuşu (Turkish Bird), a domestic-made light airplane, was leaked on social media websites. No official explanation has been made yet. Yıldırım is a retired Turkish Air Force general who was elected as the association's chairman in 2009.
Turkish media outlets also claimed that Yıldırım and other suspects were under police surveillance for six months and were accused of bribery in tenders regarding air ambulances sold to the Health Ministry and hot-air balloons in popular tourist resorts. The financial crimes unit is also looking into the financial assets of the suspects.
İsmail Çanak, a press spokesman for the THK, told reporters that Osman Yıldırım was not allowed to make a press statement. "We will issue a further statement on the issue. Currently, we are investigating allegations regarding Türkkuşu, the leaking of its designs on social media," he said.