Antalya-based illegal wiretapping probe detains seven

Turkish police detain seven police force members as suspects in Antalya-based illegal wiretapping investigation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Seven suspects belonging to police force have been detained on Tuesday by the police officers across five different provinces as part of the illegal wiretapping investigation launched based in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya.

The investigation was launched by anti-terrorism unit of Antalya police department on early Monday morning in provinces of Antalya, Izmir, Burdur, Sanliurfa and Batman, to detain 13 suspects that are allegedly involved in illegal wiretapping of politicians, journalists, academicians and police force members.

The suspects were detained over the alleged charges of “forgery in official documents, forming and managing a criminal organisation, violation of communication privacy, illegally wiretapping and recording personal data.”

Police are still searching for six other suspects.

Suspects are accused of being members of a circle named “Parallel State” which is alleged to be formed by the members of the Gulen Movement with the aim of infiltrating into the government institutions. The Movement is led by US based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen Movement is claimed to be behind the attempted judicial plot of Dec. 17-25 to overthrow the government through its influence in the police force, judiciary, bureaucracy and the media.

The investigation revealed that the detained officers have illegally wiretapped the phones of administrators of political parties in Antalya, the deputies, journalists, and academicians at the Akdeniz University, high-ranking police chiefs, military officers and Nurettin Veren who was known to be right-hand man of Gulen a decade ago.

Veren had accused Gulen of working with the CIA and being part of activities that were against Turkey.

In a similar case carried out recently against the Parallel State in an Ankara-based operation, one suspect named Ahmet Umit Secgin was arrested by an Ankara court on the same day over the charges of illegal wiretapping.

Also, five suspects were arrested on Monday in Konya-based investigation across 10 provinces in Turkey over the charges of “illegal wiretapping, violation of privacy, illegally collecting money for the Parallel State under the name of ‘himmet’(favour).”

Former Smuggling and Organised Crime Unit branch head and chief police inspector Anadolu Atayun was one of the suspects arrested.

The operation was carried out on Friday with the order of prosecution to detain 66 suspects, 31 of whom are police force members. The police reports said a significant number of suspects were businessmen.

The businessmen are accused of providing and organisation of funding for the Parallel State in Konya province. A business association and its executive board is alleged to be illegally collecting himmet money and unlawfully providing a piece of land to a university known to be close to the Gulen Movement.

Among 66 suspects, 18 were sent for further judicial processing.  Five of the suspects were released on judiciary controls while 13 were referred to court. As five of them are arrested, remaining eight were released pending trial. 

TRTWorld and agencies