Turkish Police Detain 35 in Crackdown on Erdogan's Political Opponents

Raids come two days after AK Party secures return to single-party rule.

Daren Butler
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Turkey's President Erdogan greeting supporters on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, the day after the vote in Turkey in which his AKP party swept back into power.
Turkey's President Erdogan greeting supporters on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, the day after the vote in Turkey in which his AKP party swept back into power.Credit: AP
Daren Butler

REUTERS - Turkish police detained 35 people including senior bureaucrats and police officers in the western province of Izmir on Tuesday in an operation targeting supporters of President Tayyip Erdogan's foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, media reported.

The raids came two days after the AK Party, which Erdogan founded, secured a return to single-party rule, in an election result he cast as a vote for stability but which opponents fear heralds growing authoritarianism.
The Dogan news agency said Tuesday's dawn raids were carried out at various addresses across Izmir in an operation against the "parallel structure", a term used to refer to U.S.-based cleric Gulen's supporters in the state apparatus.

The suspects were taken to the offices of the city's organised crime unit, Dogan said.

On Oct. 27, Turkish authorities took over the management of companies including newspapers and TV stations linked to Gulen.

Erdogan has led a crackdown against followers of Gulen after police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to the cleric opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan's inner circle in 2013.

A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of up to 34 years for the Islamic preacher on allegations that he sought to topple Erdogan. Gulen denies the allegation.

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