Report: 28 Turkish police detained in new raids
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police in Turkey launched a second of wave of raids at police officers’ residences on Tuesday, detaining at least 28 officers suspected of conducting illegal wiretaps, the country’s state-run television reported.
TRT television said police teams stormed police lodgings in Istanbul and in 13 provinces across Turkey, taking 28 colleagues into custody. The state-run Anadolu Agency said police had warrants to arrest to 33 people.
Last month, police detained more than a hundred officers in similar raids for allegedly spying on and wiretapping Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials. Most of them were later released but 31 were jailed pending trial over accusations of illegal wiretaps and forging documents.
Government officials have said the police operations are directed at followers of a moderate Islamic movement — led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen — who have allegedly risen to prominent positions within Turkey’s police and judiciary.
Erdogan’s government accuses the movement of being behind a series of corruption allegations earlier this year which have targeted the government as well as Erdogan’s inner circle and has removed thousands of police officers and prosecutors from their posts, including those involved in the corruption probes. Erdogan, who is running for president in Sunday’s election, has cast the corruption probe as a “coup” to topple his government.
In a television interview late Monday, Erdogan described the movement as a threat to national security and vowed to continue to crackdown on the group if he is elected.
Gulen has denied any involvement in the corruption probes.
Meanwhile, access to a Twitter account which has been anonymously posting alleged insider tweets critical of Erdogan’s government was suspended in Turkey on Tuesday. The move came after the account tweeted details of the second wave of the police operation hours before it was launched.