More Turkish police held over Erdogan wiretap

Anti-terror and riot police surround former colleagues detained on suspicion of spying or of illegally wiretapping government officials, including prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s spy chief, inside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey Saturday, July 26, 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Some of the police officers detained last month may now be tried over allegations of illegal wiretapping of Turkey's leadership

At least 25 police officers have been detained in Turkey on suspicion of illegal wiretapping.

The allegations involve police who were part of a corruption investigation that targeted PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inner circle.

The latest wave of raids on police comes days ahead of the country's first presidential elections, which opinion polls predict Mr Erdogan will win.

Last month, police detained more than 100 officers in similar raids.

Most of them were later released, but 31 were imprisoned pending trial for alleged illegal wiretaps and forging documents.

The corruption inquiry into those close to Mr Erdogan emerged last December and led to the sons of three ministers being detained and, ultimately, four ministers leaving their jobs.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will not back down in his bid to "purge the state"

The prime minister alleges the investigation was orchestrated by supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally then rival in Turkey.

Earlier this year, Mr Gulen told the BBC that government allegations of his movement's involvement in the corruption inquiry were made "to frighten people about this non-existent phantom threat".

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