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More Turkish police officers arrested in eavesdropping case

8 February 2015 16:02

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Turkish police have launched a new wave of raids, arresting a number of police officers on suspicion of illegally eavesdropping on top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Sunday, Turkish police launched raids in the country’s largest city, Istanbul, as well as Afyon and Zonguldak in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

The number of individuals arrested has not been reported. However, prosecutors have reportedly issued arrest warrants for at least 21 police officers.

The suspects are accused of intercepting the telephone communications of Erdogan and other top Turkish officials.

The arrests mark the latest in a series of raids on former top police officials accused in an eavesdropping case.

Last year, secretly taped telephone conversations suggesting corruption among officials were leaked online, including ones between Erdogan and his son. Erdogan has insisted the tapes were fabricated and were part of a plot orchestrated by the supporters of US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, the Turkish government’s ally-turned-foe, has repeatedly denied any involvement.

An official trial began early January to question those accused of setting up bugs to eavesdrop on Erdogan when he was prime minister. The case involves 13 suspects, including Erdogan’s former bodyguard and head of his office security department.

Meanwhile, Erdogan has dismissed hundreds of police and prosecutors believed to be linked to Gulen. Turkish authorities have arrested dozens of Gulen’s supporters in recent months.

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

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