A penal court of peace on Monday arrested 17 of 36 suspects, who had been detained during anti terror‘’parallel state’’ operations in Turkey’s western province of Izmir while the rest of suspects were released.
Among the suspects for whom an arrest warrant was issued, there were several high ranking police officers of Izmir police department such as Ali Bilkay, Mehmet Ali Sevik and Taner Aydin who were in charge between the years of 2011-2014.
The suspects were detained on November, 3 as part of an investigation encompassing 18 cities, which was launched by the Izmir chief prosecutor’s office, on the grounds that they “had stepped out of their statutory powers” when they were carrying out their official duties.
The prosecutor’s office began its investigation following the complaints of people who were charged in 2013 with the accusation of “keeping confidential military information and documents.”
The prosecutor’s office released a statement regarding the detentions, stating that the mentioned investigation refers to a case known publicly as, “Izmir Military Espionage Case.”
The parallel state investigations target the terrorist Gulen movement, which is led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin accused by the Turkish government for establishing and leading a “parallel state,” which is composed of a network of followers who have allegedly infiltrated the judiciary system, police force, and other state agencies in order to control these institutions.
An extensive investigation into the group had begun after the movement was accused of attempting to overthrow the elected Turkish government via a judicial coup last December.
A secret circle within the Gulen Movement, was also determined as a national security threat to Turkey by the National Security Council.
Turkey’s chief public prosecutor’s office of Istanbul, issued an indictment earlier accusing the circle of engaging in “terrorism” and labeling it as “Gulenist Terrorist Organization (FETO).” The accusations include illegal wiretapping, blackmailing and intimidation.
Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the group, was highlighted as one of the "most wanted" men, along with leaders of terrorist groups such as the PKK and DAESH by Turkey’s Interior Ministry.