Eight police officers suspected of conspiracy for plotting against the Tahsiye group in Turkey were detained on Monday in the third wave of operations.
The police officers were detained over accusations of “fabricating offences and evidence” and “conspiracy” in operations carried out throughout five different provinces. The suspects were taken to the Istanbul police headquarters.
Tahsiye Group is an offshoots of the Nur Movement, which follows the teachings of early 20th century Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi.
The Tahsiye probe was initially launched over the same charges on Dec. 14 when the Istanbul anti-terrorism unit police were ordered to detain 31 suspects in media and police force as part of an investigation to determine the plotters against the “Tahsiye” group.
Those detained included suspects with alleged links to US based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of setting up a “parallel state” to undermine the Turkish government.
Both Gulen Movement and Tahsiye Group are offshoots of the Nur Movement, although the two groups are not affiliated with each other.
On Jan. 22, 2010, in an operation against the Tahsiye group, its leader Mehmet Dogan and 122 people were arrested. Dogan was sentenced to jail for 17 months. Dogan is known to have strong objections to certain ideas and religious interpretations of held by Gulen.
During searches of the homes of the eight detained officers, the police also found copies of recordings of wire tappings of some phone conversations. Police said they are trying to determine which investigation the recordings were wiretapped for.
In the second wave of operations against the plotters to the Tahsiye group on June 17, thirteen police officers were detained over the same charges.
Four suspects, former chief inspector Yasin Koyuncu, chief police officers Ekrem Celik and Ufuk Yildirim, and deputy police chief Selcuk Ocaktan, were arrested, while nine other suspects were r
In the aftermath of the first operation on Dec.14 , four suspects including the head of the Gulen-affiliated Samanyolu Media Group Hidayet Karaca were sent to jail while an arrest order was issued for Gulen. Five more suspects including former Istanbul anti-terrorism unit chief Yurt Atayun and then Istanbul intelligence unit chief Ali Fuat Yilmazer were also arrested in the case.
The number of arrests in the Tahsiye probe is currently 13.