Potential new mobile operator employees in Turkey to be vetted by intelligence service
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.13
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Possible new employees of mobile operator companies must be approved by the country's intelligence service in order to avoid penetration of the supporters of Fethullah Gulen (Islamic public figure, currently residing in the United States) into these companies in Turkey, said the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Lutfi Elvan, the TV channel Haber7 reported Feb.13.
He said that it was namely the movement's supporters in 2014 who wiretapped the telephone conversations of the president and a number of Turkish officials.
Earlier, Elvan said all the applicants for employment in government agencies would be thoroughly checked to prevent a possible infiltration of Gulen's supporters to Turkey's state bodies.
Earlier it was reported that a large-scale staff reshuffle is expected to take place in the government bodies of Turkey as part of fight against the Gulen movement.
It is expected that almost all the heads of Turkey's state agencies will be replaced.
In February 2014, the Turkish media reported that in 2011, the telephone conversations of about 7,000 people associated with the representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties, including family members of the prime minister, were wiretapped as part of an anti-terrorist operation carried out by Istanbul prosecutor's office against "Salam" terrorist organization.
During the anti-terrorist operations, telephone conversations of the head of the Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan were wiretapped as well.
At that time, the then prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.
Erdogan stressed that the Gulen movement with its anti-state activities proved that it is not a religious movement, but a politicized and illegal structure.
He also called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the US of supporting him.
Erdogan also previously said that Gulen would be extradited from the US. However, the US authorities said that an extradition is inadmissible.
Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would make every effort to achieve Gulen's extradition.
Turkish police periodically holds operations on detaining Gulen's supporters. Some 19 people were detained in the country as a result of the raids on Jan.20.
There are 47 mobile operators officially registered in Turkey, three of which are functioning - Avea, Turkcell and Vodafone.
Turkcell has 52.4 percent of users, Vodafone - 27.9 percent, and Avea - 19.7 percent.
Edited by CN
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu