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More detentions in Turkey's 'wiretapping' sweep

The Istanbul-based operation, which began early on Tuesday, also saw detentions take place in several Turkish cities. As part of the so-called 'parallel state' operations, 32 police personnel were detained in the eastern cities of Van, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Igdir, Hakkari, Agri, Sanliurfa, Kahramanmaras, Sirnak and the Turkish capital Ankara. Overall, 33 police officials were being sought in the early hours of Tuesday on charges of wiretapping, espionage and forgery.  "We think the operations will continue and should continue," said Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay. The Turkish government has denounced the probes which started last December as a "dirty plot" constructed by a "parallel structure" of bureaucrats embedded within the country's key institutions, including the judiciary and the police. Atalay claimed this parallel state does not only exist in the judiciary and security departments in the country but also exists in bureaucracy and in the business sector.  "No country will allow such parallel structures for the sake of its safety," he said. The main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, however, slammed Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the wiretapping, saying, "If there is a parallel state in a country, the guilty person is the ruler of the government." "Heaven knows why the government always launches operations before the elections. I think the prime minister should first answer the question what the deep state is," said Kilicdaroglu.

This morning’s operation follows a first wave of nationwide detentions in late July which saw a total of 31 police officers and chiefs arrested. Over 100 police officers were detained on July 22.

The Istanbul-based anti-graft operations have followed the December 2013 probe which led to the arrest of high-profile figures including the sons of three government ministers as well as several entrepreneurs.

All those detained in the December probes were later released pending trial.

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