At least 30 Turkish police officers were arrested on Monday following raids across the country in an attempt to crack down on an alleged plot against newly elected President Tayyip Erdogan, according to media reports.
The arrested officers, many of whom are senior police personnel, have been accused of wiretapping, espionage and forgery, state-run Anadolu news agency reported Monday. The operations, which were allegedly carried out in December 2013, exposed corrupt activities within the government, including bribery, gold smuggling and illegal trade with Iran, Agence France-Presse, or AFP, reported.
Several high-profile figures from the ruling Justice and Development Party, including the sons of three former government ministers, were arrested following the allegations. Previous raids by government forces since June have led to the arrests of hundreds of police officers, about half of whom have since been released.
The recent arrests come less than two months after hundreds of Turkish police officers were arrested on charges of bugging Erdogan’s phone lines to plot against him, AFP reported. Erdogan won the country’s first direct presidential election on Aug. 10 after his stint as the country’s prime minister from 2003 to 2014, handing over the prime-ministership to erstwhile foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused his former ally Fethullah Gulen -- a Turkish-born cleric living in the United States -- of attempting to undermine the Turkish government through a network of loyalists in government institutions as well as in the police force, referring to it as a “parallel structure” within the security forces. Gulen, however, has denied the charges.