World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's former police chief Hanefi Avci, who was recently released from prison recently despite being sentenced to 15 years last year for aiding and abetting a leftist terrorist organization, has claimed that he was a victim of a set-up.
Avci, who is still under investigation but was released when the constitutional court ruled that his rights had been breached, accused those being behind his imprisonment as being the same people behind a bugging scandal, in which listening devices were placed in the Foreign Ministry building and Prime Minister's Office.
He said that whoever placed those devices in the buildings were from within Turkey, as foreign spy agencies no longer use such methods as they know of their risks.
Speaking more openly to Turkey's daily Hurriyet, Avci went on to clear the 'cemaat', another word referring to congregation leader Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet Movement, of being behind video montages leaked on to the internet to discredit the government.
However, Avci instead pointed the finger at certain units in the police that were affiliated to the Gulen-led movement, saying that they had the technology to produce such material.
'If anyone else had done it, they would have been found and put into the open,' he said, ruling out the possibility of anyone else being behind the videos. 'I think the listening was also done by the same group,' he added.
Avci also claimed that the use of bugs was something commonly used by the police force and not a tactic used by intelligence agencies.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led a purge on the police force since operations on December 17 targeting his allies raised the alarms of corruption and bribery within his AK Party-led government.
A separate operation which saw Turkish security forces raid a truck owned by the Turkish intelligence agency MIT while on its way to Syria in Turkey's Adana also increased accusations against the Hizmet Movement for running a so called 'parallel state' to undermine the government.
In April, a top secret meeting between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, MIT chief Hakan Fidan and the army's second-in-demand was leaked on to the internet, prompting a temporary ban on video-sharing website Youtube.
Another scandal was exposed when it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens had had their telephones tapped illegally.
The scandal was taken to new lengths when listening devices were found hidden in plugs in the Prime Minister's office.
Prime Minister Erdogan has accused the US-based Hizmet Movement leader Fethullah Gulen of being behind the scandals and has indicated that Turkey may request his deportation to Turkey.
Gulen went into self-imposed exile in 1999 in the US, fleeing Turkey with a forged green passport only designated to citizens with diplomat status. The government cancelled Gulen's passport earlier this year.
A former ally of Erdogan's AK Party, Gulen's movement and the government fell at odds originally over the sending of the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza in 2010.
In 2012, the gap between the two widened when prosecutors known to be loyal to the movement attemped to put MIT chief Hakan Fidan on trial.
In late 2013, Erdogan announced plans to close down prep schools if they cannot transform themselves into private schools. The movement, which gains a bulk of its income from these schools, claimed that they would not be able to make the transformation in time.Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2014, 17:54