Istanbul, Nov 10 () - Istanbul Police Department Head Mustafa Çalışkan has suspended several high-ranking police officers deployed after the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption investigations, which embroiled senior figures including the son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and relatives of four former ministers.
The units subjected to job rotations are critically important for several investigations, including those into eavesdropping and those against followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Erdoğan and his inner circle accuse former ally Gülen of forming and heading a terrorist organization to topple the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government through sympathizers in the police, the judiciary and other state organizations.
Police officers affected by the latest reassignments had been deployed after the December 2013 corruption probes. Edip Vural has been moved from his post as Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Unit head to the post of the department’s Interpol-Europol unit head; Ömer Burak Aktaş has been moved from his post as head of the Organized Crime Unit to a post as deputy head in charge of Istanbul’s suburban Güngören and Zeytinburnu districts; Hakan Sıralı was moved from his position as head of the Financial Crime Unit head to a post as the deputy head in charge of Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district; Aydın Yılmaz has been moved from his post as head of the Smuggling Unit to the head of the Weapons and Explosives Unit.
The December 2013 corruption investigations targeted figures close to the AKP government and finally broke its once-friendly ties to the Gülen movement, as prosecutors purportedly close to the movement launched the wide-ranging probes.