Turkish court arrests 17 soldiers who stopped Syria-bound intelligence trucks
A Turkish court has arrested 17 active soldiers who stopped Syria-bound trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which were stopped and searched by soldiers last years.
The Istanbul 2th Criminal Court of Peace took testimony from 32 suspects early April 10, with a judge ordering the arrest of 17 of the 32 on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization and attempting to abolish Turkish government or to prevent it from performing its activities.
The court released five of the soldiers, while placing 10 others on probation, Anadolu Agency reported.
An Istanbul prosecutor ordered the detention of 34 soldiers on April 5 on charges of being a member of a terror organization and attempting to topple the Turkish Republic's government or prevent it from performing its duties.
Two of the soldiers, however, were released during initial questioning by a prosecutor.
An operation was launched in eight provinces, including Istanbul, Hatay and Adana, for the detention of the military personnel after a court ordered their arrest.
Last year, a crisis erupted after MİT trucks bound for Syria were stopped and searched by authorities on Jan. 1, 2014, in the southern province of Hatay. Another group of trucks was searched by the gendarmerie in the southern province of Adana on Jan. 19.
The "Selam-Tevhid" organization was accused of wiretapping senior government figures, including the prime minister, the head of the MİT and cabinet ministers.
Eleven police officers, including Istanbul's former anti-terror department police chief, Yurt Atayün, were arrested in the first operation against the organization, which was launched in late July 2014.
In February 2015, the prosecution extended its operation and ordered the detention of 29 more police officers, 17 of whom were found guilty of forming, managing or joining a terrorist organization, political or military espionages and attempting to overthrow the government or preventing it from doing its duties.