Gulen-linked pundit detained over leak of key Syria meeting

Photo: Gulen-linked pundit detained over leak of key Syria meeting  / Turkey

A columnist regarded as close to the Gulen Movement was detained in Ankara March 29 as the first suspect in the investigation on the leak of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military action in Syria Hurriyet Daily News reported .

Prosecutor Tekin Kucuk has reportedly ordered the arrest, but Aytac was not at his house when the police raided it. Aytac, who is also a scholar, later went to the police station himself and was detained there due to the "impression" that he had knowledge of the Syria meeting leak, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.

Aytac was a guest on Samanyolu television March 26, claiming that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would invade Syria with "a limited operation" to reclaim the Suleyman Shah tomb from the jihadist groups. "Everything is ready for the operation. This will be the biggest material [of propaganda for the government before the March 30 local elections]," he said on the program.

The initial investigation has shown the leaker is "an insider," ruling out the possibility of a foreign secret service's involvement, according to daily Hurriyet. No bugs were found at the meeting room in the Foreign Ministry.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul slammed the leak as an "act of espionage" and vowed that those who carried out the wiretapping would be found and shown "no tolerance."

"Everything and everybody is being investigated in the most meticulous way," Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said March 28 describing the leak as a violation of confidentiality of the State of the Republic of Turkey.

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