Court Prolongs Detention Period of 17 Policemen Linked to Gülenist Crime Network

An Istanbul court has decided to hold in custody 17 out of 29 suspected referred to court last week after being detained in the “Gülenist Crime Network” probe.

Twelve detainees were also released on Monday while former chief of Istanbul Organized Crime Control Bureau Nazmi Ardic and police commissioner Ali Kavlak, are among the 17 who will remain in custody.

They had been sent to court on charges of attempting to stage a coup and political and military espionage related to an ongoing "parallel state" probe.

All 29 suspects were detained across 20 Turkish provinces on March 13 on charges of establishing and being a member of a criminal organization, political espionage, forgery, illegal storage of personal data and deleting computer data.

The "parallel state" is an alleged group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police, which allegedly wants to undermine the current Turkish government.

The government alleges that the clandestine network is run by the U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and that his so-called Gulen movement is responsible for masterminding a plot to overthrow the elected Turkish government.

Fethullah Gülen who has been living for years under the protection of the US government on a ranch in Pennsylvania, has been alleged to have established an illegal network within the Turkish state.

Turkey wants Gulen to be extradited from the U.S., where he has lived since 1999.

An Istanbul criminal court has issued an arrest warrant for Gulen as part of a probe into "parallel state" operation.

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