Istanbul Chief Prosecutor ordered the arrest of four out of 13 police officers detained on June 17 for suspected of conspiracy in the Tahsiye investigation on Sunday.
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 released.
On June 17, 13 policemen were detained and sent to the court with an arrest warrant issued in 15 different provinces across Turkey as the second wave of “Tahsiye” operations took place over accusation of “forging charges and evidence” and “conspiracy” against the “Tahsiye” group.
With the recent arrests, the number of arrested suspects in the Tahsiye probe increased to 13.
Previously on Dec. 14, Istanbul police ordered the detention of 31 people in the media and police force including 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, as part of an investigation being carried out to determine the plotters against the “Tahsiye” group.
In an operation against the Tahsiye group on Jan. 22, 2010, 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.
Both Tahsiye Group and the Gulen Movement which is led by Gulen are offshoots of the Nur Movement, which follows the teachings of early 20th century Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, although they are not affiliated with each other.
In the first wave of investigation on Dec. 14 , the detainees were accused of a number of offences including "using intimidation and threats,” "forming a gang to try and seize state sovereignty," "forgery of evidence," "slander” and “conspiracy” against the Tahsiye group.
Media reports have claimed that the police officers ordered to be detained in Wednesday’s operation includes officers that are accused of placing bombs and evidence into the homes of Tahsiye group members.
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.
Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of the daily Zaman, another media outlet that is close to the Gulen movement, was also detained in the initial investigation as well as police chiefs Tufan Erguder and Mutlu Ikizoglu.