If I casted aspersions upon officers, I would be set free easily’

Kanduriat ienol Yilmaz, a police officer who was detained along with 46 others on Nov 3 on charges of and”espionage and acting beyond their legal authoritiesand” and released a day later, told Todayand’s Zaman in an exclusive interview that he was asked during his interrogation at the izmir Police Department to cast aspersions upon his colleagues by approving their alleged involvement in espionage activities. and”After I finished my testimony at the police department, the officer in charge told me: andlsquoit is obvious you have nothing to do with this [espionage and acting beyond their legal authorities]. But I noticed that you refused to give out any info about others involved. I will let the prosecutor know about this.and’ At that moment I noticed if casted aspersions upon others, they would leave me alone,and” Yilmaz stated. Upon an order by izmir Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Okan Bato, the izmir anti-smuggling and organized crime unit conducted raids on Nov 3 that were centered in the province of izmir but extended to 17 other cities and detained a total of 46 individuals including former police chiefs, provincial governors and civil servants. The izmir Public Prosecutorand’s Office has released a written statement on the operation in which it claims the suspects are members of the and”parallel structure,and” a phrase coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refer to followers of the Gandulen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, a grassroots initiative inspired by the ideas of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen.
The private Cihan news agency reported on Nov 4 that 11 of the detainees including officer Yilmaz were released.
Erdogan made the elimination of the and”parallel structureand” a priority after a major corruption scandal involving people in his inner circle came to public attention with a wave of detentions on Dec. 17, 2013. Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time of the scandal, framed the corruption investigation as a and”plot against his governmentand” by the Hizmet movement and foreign collaborators.
Yilmaz was also among the thirty-two police officers who were taken into custody on Aug. 19, 2014, on charges of illegal wiretapping.
Yilmaz and other officers were questioned by the police at the izmir Police Department before they were referred to the izmir Courthouse. They reportedly told the police that they had not been involved in any illegal deed, including illegal wiretapping. The wiretaps were carried out as per orders by prosecutors and judges the officers were quoted as telling the police in some media reports.
The izmir Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office announced on Aug 19 of 2014 that the operation against the police was launched upon some news reports on claims of illegal wiretapping. and”A news report that appeared in a national newspaper on March 18 [2014] suggested that the phone conversations of many public servants had been illegally wiretapped. Sixty-two public servants have so far filed criminal complaints at the izmir Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office and the izmir Police Department. And an investigation has been launched as a result of the complaints [against officers who are suspected of carrying out illegal wiretaps],and” the prosecutorand’s office stated. Even though the prosecutor said the operations were launched after allegations of spying and illegal wiretapping, but they are widely believed to be an act of government revenge for the Dec. 17 corruption and bribery operation and are seen as targeting the faith-based Hizmet movement. Erdogan accuses the movement of being behind a plot to oust him. The movement denies the accusation.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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