More than 30 Turkish police officers were detained on Monday, according to reports, in what appears to be the latest in a series of arrests related to the incoming President’s belief that members of the nation’s police force are conspiring against him.
Dozens of Turkish police had already been arrested this summer on charges of bugging new President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s phone lines in order to plot against him, Reuters reports. Erdogan, Turkey’s former longtime Prime Minister, won the country’s first direct presidential election on Aug. 10.
During his presidential campaign, Erdogan repeatedly accused U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of seeking to undermine the Turkish government via a network of loyalists in some of Turkey’s most powerful institutions, including the police.
Gulen’s network, called the Hizmet movement, was once credited with buoying Erdogan’s political might. But the pact between Erdogan and Gulen has since dramatically collapsed, and Erdogan has over the past several months waged a bitter and highly public campaign to root out Gulen supporters from the political establishment.
The arrest warrants issued for the 33 police officers in the latest sweep are for “seeking to overthrow the government,” Reuters reports. One of the officers is the former chief of a police financial unit.