Turkey detains 26 security officers over illegal wiretapping

Turkish police detained 26 security officers on Tuesday on suspicion of illegally wiretapping politicians, civil servants and businessmen, Dogan News Agency reported.

Reuters| Updated: Jan 27, 2015, 12:27 PM IST

Istanbul: Turkish police detained 26 security officers on Tuesday on suspicion of illegally wiretapping politicians, civil servants and businessmen, 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 U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The chief prosecutor`s office in the western coastal city of Izmir carried out the raids, 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.

Last month a Turkish court issued an arrest warrant against Gulen on suspicion of heading up a criminal organisation. Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile but was for years an important Erdogan ally before their relations soured, denies any involvement in plots against the government.