'Parallel state' recruiters arrested in western Turkey

Suspects accused of compiling information on potential recruit to Gulenist group

'Parallel state' recruiters arrested in western Turkey


BURSA, Turkey

Eleven workers at a NGO established to assist students were arrested by Turkish police on Thursday on suspicion of supporting the Fetullah Gulen terror group, a security source said.

The staff were seized in Bursa, northwest Turkey, over alleged links to the “parallel state” - an organization said to have been established by Gulen to overthrow the government by infiltrating state institutions.

The source claimed the suspects are thought to have posed as recruited students from private universities, colleges and high schools to serve the group by coaching them for state exams and placing them in roles in the police, military and other arms of the state.

Police in Bursa carried out the arrests at the NGO’s offices and private homes following a four-month investigation, the source said.

Documents seized during the operation were said to include background information on at least 10,000 people.

The suspects were held on suspicion of “being a member of a terrorist organization, supplying members for the terrorist organization and illegally collecting personal data”.

Investigations into the “parallel state” since early 2014 have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.

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