Whistle blower arrested in Turkey

ISTANBUL – In the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday morning Hanefi Avci was arrested, a police chief who wrote arevealing book about the infiltration by a religious movement in state institutions. This story appeared in several Turkish media on Tuesday.

The book was published this summer and sent shock waves through the country. Avci wrote from his years of experience working for both the security service and the police, and stated that members of the religious Gülen movement were infiltrating the state. The Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the United States, has many followers in Turkey, but there is also a deep distrust of him and his movement.

The Turkish Public Prosecutor started an investigation into Avci, which has now led to the charge of membership of and giving help to a terrorist organisation. He is supposedly connected to a group called ‘Revolutionary headquarters’, an organisation that took responsibility for an attack on the Istanbul office of governing party AKP in 2008. Ten people were wounded in that incident.

In Turkey Avci has passionate supporters as well as fierce opponents. Some say he wrote the book as a distraction from accusations against himself; for some he is a hero who revealed the secret agenda of the Gülen movement. The last group sees his arrest as new proof of the influence that Gúlen has in the state. Avci’s book contains little concrete evidence. In interviews he said that the Public Prosecutor could easily gather the evidence himself if a thorough investigation into infiltration by Gülen followers were conducted.

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