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Turkey Detains Police Supporters of Erdogan Foe

Turkey Detains Police Supporters of Erdogan FoeTurkey Detains Police Supporters of Erdogan Foe

Turkey has detained 18 people, including senior police officers on Tuesday, in an investigation of alleged supporters within the police force of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

It said arrest warrants were issued for 27 police officers in an operation across 13 provinces and focused on Istanbul. The private Dogan news agency said the operation focused on former officers, including police chiefs, Reuters reported.

Operations targeting supporters of Gulen have continued unabated since the AK Party founded by Erdogan won a parliamentary election on Nov. 1.

Last month dozens of people, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, were detained in an operation in the western city of Izmir over alleged links to what prosecutors have dubbed the “Gulenist terror group”.

Gulen was formerly an ally of Erdogan and believed to have wielded considerable influence in the judiciary and bureaucracy.

Erdogan turned against the cleric and his followers, accusing them of constituting a “parallel state”, after police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan’s inner circle in 2013.

The cleric has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and is the subject of arrest warrants in Turkey. A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of up to 34 years on allegations that he sought to topple Erdogan. Gulen denies the allegation.

Financialtribune.com