Turkish court issues arrest warrant for Gulen
19 December 2014 17:30 (Last updated 19 December 2014 20:13)
A Turkish criminal court issued an arrest warrant Friday for U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen in the "parallel state" probe, after Istanbul's chief public prosecutor filed a request for it earlier.
The Turkish Criminal Court said that "the suspects established an illegal organization with a hierarchical structure that is separate from the state's own structure," adding that the accused aimed to "seize influential posts that govern Turkey's social, economic, military and administrative mechanisms."
The court also said that Gulen guided the broadcasting and publishing policies of Samanyolu TV and daily Zaman newspaper.
A police operation was launched on December 14 against senior media figures and police officers in 13 provinces across Turkey for allegedly being affiliated with what the government describes as the "parallel state," a purported group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.
More than 20 suspects were taken into custody in the operation. All the detainees were alleged to be linked with Gulen and his so-called Gulen movement.
In December 2013, an anti-graft probe had targeted a number of high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading Turkish businessmen.
The government denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by the "parallel state."
Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained on charges of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials, disclosing highly-sensitive information, forming and belonging to an organization to commit crime, violating privacy, illegally seizing personal information and forging official documents.