Turkish security forces have detained over 40 suspects, including police chiefs and governors allegedly tied to the “parallel state structure” in Turkey’s western province of Izmir.
The suspects were detained on Tuesday morning as a part of an investigation comprehensing 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 has released a statement regarding the recent detentions, stating that the mentioned investigation refers to a case known publicly as, “Izmir Military Espionage Case.”
357 people, including regular-duty military personnel have been on trial without a warrant since 2013 and those prosecuted claimed that their respective inquiry had not been properly conducted by the currently detained investigators, under the legal limits at the time.
Former investigators of the inquiry, have been accused by the prosecuted as being biased and conducting fraud deliberately during the investigation, in order to liquidate the suspects of the case from state bureaucracy and Turkish Armed Forces via defamation campaign, according to the statement.
Moreover, media accounts have indicated based on the information from security sources that the court has also issued an arrest warrant for 20 additional people.
The Gulen Movement, which is led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin- is accused by the Turkish government of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who have allegedly infiltrated the judiciary, 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 judicial coup last December.
A secret circle within the Gulen Movement, was also determined as a national security threat for Turkey by the National Security Council.
Turkey’s chief public prosecutor’s office of Istanbul, has recently issued an indictment accusing the circle of “terrorism” and labeling it as “Gulenist Terrorist Organization (FETO).” The accusations include illegal wiretapping, blackmailing and intimidation.
Within the scope of ‘’reward regulations’’ of the Interior Minister of Turkey, which aim to reward the ones who spot members of terrorist organisations and inform the security forces, Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the group, has been highlighted as one of the "most wanted" men, along with leaders of terrorist groups such as the PKK and DAESH.