Twelve members of Turkey’s national police force arrested for involvement in illegal wiretapping as part of an investigation based in the southeastern city of Van were sent to prison Monday.
The suspects were charged with “being a member of a criminal organisation, forgery of official documents, fabricating crimes against individuals, violations of privacy, and recording illegal data.”
Concurrent raids were conducted on April 25 in nine different provinces against 18 suspects who were accused of involvement in illegal wiretapping as part of the major “parallel state” investigation. Ten suspects were taken into custody in the eastern province of Van while others were detained in Gaziantep, Kayseri, Mersin, Ankara, Aydin, Ordu and Manisa.
The remaining six suspects were released subject to judicial controls following the late night court ruling.
The parallel state probe concerns allegations of “espionage, illegal wiretapping by the police force of notable persons - including high ranking government officials, bureaucrats, academicians, journalists, and businessmen - illegal taping of individual records, forgery of official documents, forming and managing a terrorist organization, and attempting to overthrow the government or limit the government’s functions.”
The inner circle of an international religious and social network,allegedly the Gulen Movement, has been allegedly accused of influencing its members in the police force, judiciary and bureaucracy for its own purposes.
The movement is also accused of trying to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) through an attempted judicial coup on Dec. 17-25 2013.
However, the movement and its leader - self-exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen - have publicly denied the claims.