Turkey detains 22 security officers over illegal wiretapping

By REUTERS
January 5, 2015 14:33

 
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ISTANBUL - Turkish police detained 22 security officers on Monday on suspicion of illegally wiretapping politicians, civil servants and businessman, Dogan News Agency reported.

The raids were a further salvo in President Tayyip Erdogan's campaign against supporters of his ally turned arch-foe, the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The chief prosecutor's office in the southeastern province of Gaziantep coordinated the raids in 13 mainly eastern and southeastern cities, according to Dogan, a privately owned national news service.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

Erdogan accuses Gulen of setting up a "parallel state" within the Turkish administration and trying to topple him, blaming his supporters within the police and judiciary for a corruption inquiry that rocked the government late in 2013.

In the course of the scandal, apparently incriminating wiretap recordings of the then-prime minister, ministers and other senior officials were leaked onto the Internet.

Erdogan has cast the investigation, which led to the resignation of three ministers, as a "coup attempt" and in response he had thousands of police officers, judges and prosecutors removed from their posts.

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