50 suspects of alleged wiretapping released

The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office on Monday ordered the arrest of 10 police officers out of 17 who were detained in Ankara on charges of illegal wiretapping, establishing a criminal gang and forging official documents. Five of the 10 suspects were later released.

The remaining five suspects, including Akyurek, Guven, İbrahim Tuka, Taner Bulent Demirel and Mustafa Basewere, were released by the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court after the fourth hearing, which was conducted in private due to a media gag order.

The investigation against the officers and police chiefs asserts that they illegally wiretapped individuals between 2007 and 2011. The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office launched the investigation upon a complaint by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).

The arrests, dubbed the “parallel state operation,” are widely seen as an act of revenge by the government for a corruption probe that became public on Dec. 17, 2013 and targeted sons of now-former ministers, bureaucrats and businessmen close to the government, and close advisers of inner President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has accused the Gulen movement — a civil society initiative inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen — of being behind the corruption probe in an attempt to overthrow the government.