Turkish police carried out search operations on Friday on the premises of business groups working under the private business body, the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) upon the orders of the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office over allegations of its links with the terrorist 'Gulen Movement.'
TUSKON defines itself in its official website as a non-governmental and non-profit umbrella organization representing seven business federations, 211 business associations and over 55,000 entrepreneurs from all over Turkey.
It has four foreign offices, including in Brussels, Washington, Moscow and Beijing, and partner organizations in 140 different countries.
The raids into 18 member associations of the business group in Ankara were launched as part of a wide-scale investigation into the Gulen Movement.
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 and eventually take over these institutions.
An extensive investigation into the group had begun after the movement was accused of attempting to overthrow the elected Turkish government via a 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, issued an indictment accusing the circle of “terrorism” and labeling it as “Gulenist Terrorist Organization (FETO).” The accusations include illegal wiretapping, blackmailing and intimidation.
Meanwhile, the recent operations against the “parallel state” have resulted in the detention of dozens of police officers and the reassignment of hundreds of other officers across Turkey.