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Iran Press TV

Turkey detains 18 alleged supporters of Erdogan opponent

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 8, 2015 11:26AM

Police in Turkey have arrested 18 people, including senior police officers, accusing them of supporting a US-based opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The individuals were detained in 13 provinces, including in Istanbul and Ankara, as part of an investigation into the case of those who support Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen within the police force.

A total of 27 arrest warrants have been issued as part of the probe into what the Turkish leadership calls a "parallel state," or a group of Gulen supporters allegedly embedded in Turkish institutions, which was launched in July.

This comes weeks after dozens of people, including police officers and bureaucrats, were detained in the western city of Izmir after being accused of having links to Gulen.

Leading up to the country's November 1 snap elections, the government intensified its crackdown on Gulen's perceived supporters by detaining hundreds of people.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US in 1999, is regarded as an outspoken opponent of President Erdogan and his policies.

Erdogan has accused the cleric and his followers of plotting to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a corruption investigation into the president's inner circle back in 2013.

The latest developments comes shortly after a report by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said the government had detained 98 people accused of "insulting" Erdogan.

Erdogan has faced growing popular dissatisfaction over what critics say is his growing autocratic manner.

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