Europe More suspects detained in Turkey wiretapping probe

More suspects detained in Turkey wiretapping probe

 

Some of the police officers detained over allegations of illegal wiretapping of Turkey's leadership
Some of the police officers detained over allegations of illegal wiretapping of Turkey’s leadership

(AA) – Twenty-seven police officers have been detained in early-morning operations in the south of Turkey.

Security sources said the Mersin prosecutor’s office made the arrests in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The 27 police officers were detained as part of a probe into illegal wiretapping – itself part of a wider investigation into an organization dubbed a ‘parallel structure’ by the Turkish government.

Several suspects underwent health checks at Toros State Hospital in Mersin before being taken to a police station for questioning.

To date, hundreds of police officers have been detained and have testified in the probe.

Suspects are accused of eavesdropping on Turkey’s top officials and of disclosing information of a highly sensitive nature.

Among the charges are accusations of: forming an organization to commit crime and being a member of this organization; violating privacy; illegally seizing personal information; and forgery of official documents.

The operations follow a December 2013 probe which led to the arrest of several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading business people.

All those detained in the December operation were later released pending trial.

The government, blaming the wiretapping on the Gulen movement led by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, also accuses the network of attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state.

The government has denounced the December probe as a “dirty plot” constructed by a “parallel state,” an alleged group of bureaucrats embedded in the country’s institutions, including the judiciary and the police.