Nearly dozen Turkish police officers arrested in eavesdropping case

Nearly dozen Turkish police officers arrested in eavesdropping case

HomeMiddle EastTurkey Thu May 14, 2015 9:8PM

Turkish authorities have arrested nearly a dozen senior police officers as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged forging of official documents and eavesdropping on top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Thursday, police launched a raid in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, situated 685 kilometers (425 miles) southeast of the capital, Ankara, and detained 11 policemen, including a former police chief.

The suspects are accused of involvement in malpractice and forgery when they served at the Gaziantep Police Academy between 2010 and 2013.

Crackdown on police

Dozens of serving and former Turkish police officers have already been detained over the past few months as part of the investigation into alleged eavesdropping on Erdogan and other key individuals, including businessmen, politicians and government officials.

Many of the police officers arrested were reportedly involved in an anti-government corruption probe and have been removed from their posts.

Corruption scandal

Turkey plunged into a political crisis after dozens of government officials and prominent businessmen close to Erdogan, the then prime minister, were arrested in an inquiry on graft charges in December 2013.

The scandal, which turned into a very serious challenge to Erdogan’s rule, also led to a cabinet reshuffle.

Erdogan denounced the corruption scandal as well as a string of leaks in the media, saying they were engineered by supporters of his rival, Fethullah Gulen, to undermine his government.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has repeatedly denied any involvement.

On December 19, 2014, an Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant for the US-based cleric.

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