16.4 C
Frankfurt am Main

Police chiefs among 7 arrested over probe into mob boss with alleged ties to former minister

Must read

One junior and two senior police chiefs along with four others have been arrested as part of an investigation into organized crime boss Ayhan Bora Kaplan, whose network allegedly had ties to former interior minister Süleyman Soylu and other high-ranking officials, the Bianet news website reported.

They were among eight people who were detained in police operations last week as part of an investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

An Ankara court ruled for the arrest of the seven suspects on Sunday, while the eighth suspect’s interrogation at the Ankara Police Department is currently continuing.

The arrestees include Ankara Deputy Police Chief Murat Çelik and organized crime branch chief Ufuk Gültekin and his deputy Şevket Demircan.

They are charged with witness tampering, disclosure of privileged information and acting as accessories to a crime.

Last week’s detentions followed accusations by Serdar Sertçelik, a secret witness in the case who had fled abroad and made bombshell allegations about the Ankara police.

Sertçelik claimed that he was pressured to implicate several key figures in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including ministers and close associates of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Sertçelik alleged that Ankara police officers coerced him into making false statements as part of a plot to discredit the AKP.

One of the other arrestees is Ramazan Kubat, an advisor to former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kubat, previously a member of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), is accused of helping Sertçelik flee abroad.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said last week that the investigation would proceed with full transparency. The inquiry aims to uncover any unlawful actions taken by the law enforcement officials, Yerlikaya said, adding that the officers’ homes were searched and digital evidence was seized.

President Erdoğan replaced Soylu with Yerlikaya in the new cabinet he announced in June following his victory in the presidential election in May.

The Kaplan investigation has revealed deep fractures within Turkey’s law enforcement and political establishments, highlighting ongoing power struggles between the AKP and its far-right ally the MHP. Kaplan, arrested in September while attempting to flee Turkey, is accused of running a criminal organization involved in “intentional injury,” “armed robbery,” “deprivation of liberty” and “torture.”

There were allegations linking Kaplan’s network to Soylu, suggesting that Kaplan received protection from law enforcement in exchange for financial favors. Soylu, who received explicit support from MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, has denied the allegations.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News