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Turkey arrests dozens over ‘document forging, wiretapping’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish anti-terrorism police officers search the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish authorities have arrested more than two dozen people as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged forging of official documents and eavesdropping on top officials, including against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Tuesday, police launched simultaneous raids in more than 10 provinces, including Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri, at the request of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor, and detained 30 people.

The suspects are accused of illegally wiretapping the communications of 432 people, including businessmen, journalists and politicians from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo by AFP)

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

Many of the officials 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, then the prime minister of Turkey, were arrested in an inquiry on graft charges in December 2013.

Turkey’s self-exiled opposition figure, Fethullah Gulen (Photo by AFP)

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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