Recent removal of Istanbul police chiefs reveals gov’t paranoia

The recent removal of 22 Istanbul police chiefs who were appointed to their posts after the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption scandal has led to speculation that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is now purging those who took part in unlawful operations against the and”parallel structure.and”
The parallel structure is a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refer to followers of the Gandulen movement, particularly those within the state bureaucracy. It is claimed that the government had begun to exhibit paranoid behavior following the corruption scandal, feeling unable to trust anybody. That is why, it is argued, the government has changed the police chiefs they assigned after the scandal erupted. Apart from police chiefs, the ruling party has also discharged many bureaucrats due to the same paranoid thinking.
Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa andcaliikan recently replaced Intelligence Unit Chief Edip Vural with Serdar Ali Sekkin, Crime Branch Unit Chief andOmer Burak Aktai with Gaffar Demir, Anti-Smuggling Unit Chief Aydin Yilmaz with Feramuz andcetin and Financial Crimes Unit Chief Hakan Sirali with andOmer Kumlu, the Dogan news agency reported on Tuesday. In a similar vein, Caner Coiar was appointed police chief of the Beiiktai district, Hakan Torun as police chief of Gaziosmanpaia, ismail Dinandcer andOiandut as police chief of Eyandup and ismail Kiliandc as police chief of the Beyoilu district. The ruling AK Party has been reshuffling the police across the country since the corruption scandal erupted at the end of 2013. Many high-ranking police chiefs were dismissed or arrested over accusations of being members of the and”parallel stateand” aiming at overthrowing the elected government. Following the suspension of many high-ranking police officials by the government, new chiefs were assigned to the vacant positions in 2014. The positions of many officers were changed and a number of them were sent to Central Anatolian cities. The officers who were recently removed from their posts were in fact appointed by the government after the Dec. 17, 2013 operation to replace the former police chiefs who were claimed to be affiliated with the and”parallel state.and” These police chiefs carried out many operations against the officers who led the Dec. 17-25 corruption operations. Among the removed police chiefs, Financial Crimes Unit Chief Sirali is the most striking. Sirali gave the order for the Sept. 1, 2014 operation in which 33 police officers were detained as part of an investigation into those who were involved in a major corruption operation last year. The latest move by the ruling party has also raised concerns over whether this wave of and”purgingand” will spill over into other public institutions, including the judiciary. Apart from police chiefs, many public officials and members of the judiciary were involved in the unlawful counter operations targeting members of the Gandulen movement.
h2Wave of dismissal evokes govand’t blaming bureaucrats for PKKand’s actsh2 Following the end of the peace talks between the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) and the government after the June 7 election, there were claims that PKK activities in southeastern cities were being tolerated by provincial bureaucrats throughout the peace processes in response to orders from the AK Party. Government officials however, refusing to take any responsibility, accused public officials of not taking the necessary measures against terrorist acts. Speaking to village headmen on Sept. 29, President Erdogan said they did not give public officials any orders to ignore the PKKand’s acts. However, it was an open secret that local governors along with army officers were trying to avoid any conflict with the PKK in order to not hinder the peace talks. Following the president, some AK Party officials also repeated the same argument, accusing public officials of the same thing. At that time, there were concerns over whether the AK Party would later take public officials to court for ignoring the acts of the PKK. The situation resembles the recent act by the government to remove the police chiefs who conducted operations against the Hizmet movement.


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