Turkish authorities detain 18 in wiretapping probe

Suspects allegedly eavesdropped on politicians, journalists, lawyers and military officers while working for an illegal organization

Turkish authorities detain 18 in wiretapping probe

World Bulletin/News Desk

Ankara prosecutors have detained 18 suspects in a probe of illegal wiretapping, security sources said Tuesday.

The detentions are part of an ongoing police operation in the capital and other Turkish provinces to investigate the alleged creation of an illegal organization as part of a plot against the government. 

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor ordered the detention of the 18 suspects -- one is already jailed in an Istanbul prison -- 14 of whom were located in Ankara, and the rest were in Izmir, eastern Siirt and Agri provinces. 

One of the suspects is said to have been a former police officer who served in the country's National Intelligence Organization, the top spy agency. 

To date, hundreds of police officers have been detained and have testified in the probe. Suspects are accused of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials and of disclosing information of a highly sensitive nature as well as of "forming an organization to commit crime and being a member of this organization," "violating privacy," "illegally seizing personal information" and "forgery of official documents."

Omer Altiparmak, former head of the police intelligence unit in Istanbul, was among the suspects and surrendered to Ankara police to testify following the issue of the detention order.

The operations follow a December 2013 probe which led to the arrest of several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading business people.

All those detained in the December operation were later released pending trial.

The Turkish government, blaming the Gulen movement led by U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen for the wiretapping, also accuses the network of attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state and plotting to overthrow the government. 

The government has denounced the December probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by a "parallel state," an alleged group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ekim 2014, 13:58