Three police officers arrested in gov’t-led Manisa witch hunt

In the latest of a series of operations targeting police officers which have been decried by opposition parties and civil society organizations as a witch hunt in the National Police Department, three officers have been arrested in Manisa on charges of illegal wiretapping and other crimes.
The former intelligence unit head of the Manisa Police Department, identified as M.D., and two police officers at the unit, B.K. and R.andO., were arrested on Sunday on accusations of forgery of official documents, illegal wiretapping and violation of privacy.
Those arrested were detained along with two other suspects on Oct. 27 in western Manisa province in the latest instance of a series of operations that kicked off last July, when police chiefs and officers who conducted two major graft operations in December 2013 were detained and many were subsequently arrested.
As a result of graft probes that became public after police raids on Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, four ex-ministers implicated in the probes resigned, while dozens of people, including senior bureaucrats and the sons of three then-ministers, in addition to businessmen with close ties to the government, were detained.
Afterwards, dozens of government-orchestrated operations targeted the police officers who had conducted the corruption probes. The operations against the officers are widely seen as targeting the Gandulen movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen, also known as the Hizmet movement, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and government officials have described as a and”parallel structureand” within the state.
Erdogan, who has described the graft probes as a plot against the government, has accused the Gandulen movement of being part of the plot, but has not provided any evidence to support this claim. The movement has denied all the allegations.