The Istanbul Chief Prosecution ordered the taking of 20 police officers suspected of involvement in the Tahsiye investigation into custody on Wednesday.
The detainment order for the 20 suspects, who are accused of “forging charges and evidence” and “conspiracy” against the Tahsiye group, was issued in 15 different provinces across Turkey.
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 in 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.
It has been claimed in media reports that the police officers ordered to be detained on Wednesday’s operation includes officers that are accused of placing bombs and evidence into the homes of Tahsiye group members.
The Gulen Movement has a very strong influence on his followers that are active in certain government institutions such as the judiciary and the police force, was also involved in the Dec. 17-25 operation against the government in 2013, accused of plotting against the elected government.
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.