World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag has confirmed that the CIA is cooperationg with Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MIT) to extradite the Pennsylvania-based Turkish congregation leader Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since leaving Turkey in 1999 with a fake passport, faces questions over his alleged role in leading a 'parallel state' to undermine the Turkish government via infiltrators in the judiciary and police force.
He is accused of being behind two police operations against government loyalists on December 17 and December 25, in what was recognized as a coup attempt on the Turkish government led by prosecutors and senior police officials loyal to Gulen's Hizmet Movement.
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Bozdag was quoted by Daily Sabah saying that "the judicial system belongs to the Turkish people, not to Fethullah Gulen." His comments come just days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed Gulen's deportation from the U.S. with President Barack Obama at the NATO summit in Wales on Friday.
Since the December incidents, dozens of senior police officers have been arrested in Turkey in over a wiretapping scandal in which they illegally listened to and leaked phone conversations of hundreds of thousands of citizens from public figures and journalists to the president and prime minister.
Turkey's telecommunications department also revealed on Wednesday that 76 top security crypto-phones used by the government were also spied on illegally. 26 of these phones belonged to MIT and the Chief of Army Staff's Office.
They also confirmed that at least 304 orders were given to listen in on conversations on these phones over a period of several months, including the conversations of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of Army Staff Necdet Ozel and MIT chief Hakan Fidan.
Turkey's new president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led a purge on the police force since operations on December 17 targeting his allies raised the alarms of corruption and bribery within his AK Party-led government.
A separate operation which saw Turkish security forces raid a truck owned by the Turkish intelligence agency MIT while on its way to Syria in Turkey's Adana also increased accusations against the Hizmet Movement.
In April, a top secret meeting between then Foreign Minister now Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, MIT chief Hakan Fidan and the army's second-in-demand was leaked on to the internet, prompting a temporary ban on video-sharing website Youtube.
Another scandal was exposed when it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens had had their telephones tapped illegally.
The scandal was taken to new lengths when listening devices were found hidden in plugs in the Prime Minister's office.
Erdogan has indicated that Turkey may request Gulen's deportation from the US to Turkey to face questioning regarding allegations of his role in leading a spy ring which has not only infiltrated the police force, but also the judiciary and the government itself.
Fethullah Gulen went into self-imposed exile in 1999 in the US, fleeing Turkey with a forged green passport only designated to citizens with diplomat status. The government cancelled Gulen's passport earlier this year.
A former ally of the ruling AK Party, Gulen's movement and the government fell at odds originally over the sending of the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza in 2010.
In 2012, the gap between the two widened when prosecutors known to be loyal to the movement attemped to put MIT chief Hakan Fidan on trial.
In late 2013, Erdogan announced plans to close down prep schools if they cannot transform themselves into private schools. The movement, which gains a bulk of its income from these schools, claimed that they would not be able to make the transformation in time.Last Mod: 10 Eylül 2014, 14:21