Skip to main content

Erdogan’s former bodyguards arrested for espionage

Former bodyguards of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — allegedly Gulenists — have been arrested on charges of espionage, accused of planting bugs in Erdogan’s office.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan acknowledges supporters during the municipal elections outside a polling station in Istanbul March 30, 2014. Erdogan looks set to win Sunday's municipal elections that have become a crisis referendum on his 10-year rule as he tries to ward off graft allegations and stem a stream of damaging security leaks.  REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)   - RTR3J6TG

In my June 4 article for Al-Monitor, I reported a Turkish government decision to close down all police academies on the grounds they have come under the full control of the Islamist Gulenist organization. The higher echelons of the state — President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan as well as ministers and senior bureaucrats — all agreed on the threat the Gulenists pose. The government said the Gulenists had entrenched themselves within the state in a secret hierarchy of their own.

No objections came to the decision from the opposition parties either, for they had long claimed that a secret Gulenist structure existed within the intelligence services, the military, the judiciary and the police. The opposition had also maintained that some high-profile judicial cases in recent years had been fabricated by Gulenists and harshly criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the issue.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.