A court in Istanbul ordered the arrests in absentia of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and ex-police officer Emre Uslu in connection with a “parallel state” probe.
Gulen, who is self-exiled in the U.S, has been accused of leading a “terrorist organization” and plotting to overthrow the elected Turkish government.
The network led by Gulen is accused of wiretapping senior Turkish government figures, including the prime minister, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief, Cabinet ministers as well as journalists through serving state officials.
The Istanbul court decided that the first trial of the case would be held early February next year and also issued red notices for both suspects.
The indictment against Gulen and Uslu is 10,529-pages long. A total of 55 out of 122 suspects in the probe have been arrested.
This is not the first time that a Turkish court has issued arrest warrants for Gulen and Uslu.
On Oct. 19, Istanbul’s High Penal Court issued an arrest warrant for Gulen and his aide Sinan Dursun for “attempting to stage a coup, establishing and masterminding an armed organization and political espionage” in Turkey.
On Feb. 24, a Turkish criminal court in Istanbul issued an arrest warrant for Gulen and Uslu, again related to the “parallel state” probe.
The “parallel state” or “parallel structure” refers to a purported group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country’s institutions, including the judiciary and police, who are allegedly trying to undermine the elected government.
The ongoing operation against this network has resulted in the detention of dozens of police officers and the reassignment of hundreds of other officers across Turkey.