August 19, 2014 / 8:23 AM / 4 years ago

Dozens more Turkish police detained as wiretapping probe widens

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Dozens more police officers were detained in Turkey on Tuesday as part of an investigation into alleged spying and the illegal wiretapping of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle, local media reported.

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the party headquarters in Ankara August 14, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

At least 20 police officers were detained in 13 provinces across the country, Turkey’s state-run TRT channel reported.

Over the last month, around 50 police officers have been remanded in custody pending charges that they formed a criminal organization and bugged phones, part of what Erdogan describes as a “parallel state” which plotted against him.

The latest detentions came after Erdogan won the country’s first direct presidential election on Aug. 10. He has vowed his battle against the Islamic cleric he accuses of masterminding the “parallel state” will intensify once he takes office.

Erdogan accuses the U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of using his network of followers, who have influence in the police, judiciary and other institutions, to try to oust him. Gulen denies plotting against the state.

Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Andrew Heavens

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