Turkish police detains 16 suspects over misconduct in national scientific council

Police forces have detained 16 suspects in probe concerning to misconduct in Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Sixteen suspects have been detained on Tuesday by police over charges involving misconduct in the country’s national scientific body, TÜBİTAK.

Chief Prosecution Office of Ankara listed names of 28 suspects to be detained over accusations of illegal hiring to the council, collecting money for a terrorist organization, forming and being a member of a terrorist organization, and damaging public property.

Gulen Movement which is led by the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and allegedly has influence on the judiciary, police force, media and bureaucracy through its adherents, is accused of being behind the espionage and illegal wiretapping of high-ranking government officials and is seen as a national security threat by the government. A twitter account which serves the purpose and arguments of the group, had released a recording from the National Security Council at the time.
However, the claims concerning to the movement were denied by Gulen himself.

So far, 16 suspects were detained while three of them were released after questioning. Judicial processing of 13 other suspects still continue.

In the meantime, police found out that 11 other suspects including former Marmara Research Center (MAM) president Murat Aydin are outside of the country on the run.

MAM operates under TÜBİTAK and authorities said most of the suspects are employees of MAM.

Former Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) Vice President Hasan Palaz and former president of TÜBİTAK were arrested by the anti-terrorism over the allegations of wiretapping encrypted and regular phones of high-ranking government officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Palaz is also accused of destroying documents regarding bugging of offices and home of then Prime Minister Erdogan.

While Altunbasak was released subject to judicial controls, Palaz remains to be in jail. Palaz recently published a book named “ You have ruined my life, Mr. Bug!” in which he claims to have been declared a “scapegoat” for not submitting to “bullying.”

TRTWorld and agencies