Over 1,000 Turkish military personnel arrested during ‘parallel state’ probe

Published May 13th, 2015 - 12:13 GMT

More than a thousand people in the Turkish Armed Forces have been reported for allegedly having connections to the "parallel state", Turkey's Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz has said.

Speaking at a meeting of Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk on Wednesday, he said: "There are denunciations about more than a 1,000 people.

"An extensive investigation has been launched about the issue."

The "parallel state" refers to the so-called "Gulen movement" allegedly involving US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and his supporters who are accused of orchestrating a corruption probe which targeted high-ranking Turkish officials in December 2013.

The government has denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by Gulen’s movement and members of his alleged "parallel state" in Turkey.

Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained and judicial members reshuffled 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 forgery of official documents.

"If not for Turkey, Kobani would have fallen"

Minister Yilmaz also said Turkey was the main reason why the Syrian city of Kobani stood up against Daesh. 

He said: "If it not were for Turkey, no question about it, Kobani would have fallen.

"Free Syrian Army, peshmerga ... All those were offered by Turkey."

After Daesh launched an offensive in September 2014 to capture Kobani – located only hundreds of meters away from the Turkish border – a group of 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga arrived in Sanliurfa on Oct. 28, 2014, to join fighters battling the extremist rebel group.

A second Peshmerga battalion reached the battle after traveling through Turkey on Dec. 3, 2014.

Hundreds of Peshmerga forces passed through Turkey on their way to Kobani to fight Daesh militants in northern Syria.

A third group arrived in Kobani on Jan. 16, 2015, from the capital of the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration, Erbil, via the Suruc district of Sanliurfa.

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