More police officers detained in Turkey's wiretap probe : media

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 05, 2014 2:26 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Dozens of police officers were detained in Turkey on Tuesday as part of an investigation into alleged spying and illegally wiretapping Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle, local media reported.

At least 25 police officers were detained in 14 provinces across the country, Turkey's state-run TRT channel reported.

Last week a total of 31 officers were remanded in custody on pending charges they formed a criminal organization and bugged phones following a first wave of arrests started on July 22.

The detentions come just days before an Aug. 10 election in which Erdogan hopes to become Turkey's first directly elected president. Presidents were previously voted for by parliament.

The investigation is widely seen as targeting a "parallel structure" within the state, a term coined by Erdogan to describe members of the police, judiciary and other institutions loyal to U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan accuses Gulen of being behind a plot to oust him.

Erdogan had promised a "witch hunt" against Gulen's followers, which he says are a potential threat to national security.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Catherine Evans)