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Police detain wives of police chiefs who led 2013 corruption operations

Former police chief Yakup Saygılı

The wives of former police chiefs Yakub Saygılı and Kazım Aksoy, who led corruption and bribery operations against the government in 2013, have been detained.

According to the pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper, Esra Filiz Saygılı and Sümeyye Aksoy were taken into police custody over their alleged use of ByLock, an encrypted mobile app that the government believes to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement.

The movement is accused by the government of masterminding a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, an accusation strongly denied by the Gülen movement.

The government had dismissed the corruption allegations, billing them as attempts to topple it. Similar claims have recently resurfaced in a separate investigation in the US with an Iranian-Turkish gold trader accused of violating UN sanctions against Iran with the help of corrupt Turkish officials including a former minister.

More than 130,000 people have been detained since the summer of 2016 over Gülen ties, most of whom, including Amnesty International’s Turkey board chairman Taner Kılıç, are accused of using ByLock.

Saygılı, former chief of the Istanbul Police Department’s anti-fraud unit, and Aksoy, Istanbul’s ex-deputy police chief, have already been in pretrial detention for three years. (Turkey Purge)

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