ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained at least 26 police in the latest nationwide swoop over the alleged wiretapping of top officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media said.
Police conducted raids in the western city of Izmir and 12 other provinces and detained suspects, including high-ranking officers, accused of wiretapping key figures including businessmen, academics and government officials, Anatolia news agency reported.
The suspects were facing a series of charges from forming a crime ring to forging official documents and violation of privacy.
It was the latest in a series of raids since July last year when dozens of policemen were arrested on suspicion of wiretapping Erdogan and other officials.
The swoop is linked to corruption allegations against Erdogan and his inner circle that were based on wiretapped telephone conversations and a series of leaked recordings.
Erdogan has blamed his ally-turned-foe, the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, of concocting the corruption scandal that rocked the government late in 2013 and he has purged thousands of his followers from the police and the judiciary.
As with previous raids, the latest swoop and its targets were predicted with extraordinary precision by a mysterious Twitter user named Fuat Avni before they even took place.
The government has repeatedly blocked Fuat Avni’s Twitter accounts but the user simply moves to another address.