Turkish authorities detained dozens of banking watchdog inspectors on Aug. 19 as the government vowed to cut off financing to companies suspected of having ties to last month’s failed coup.
Police on Aug. 19 detained 29 inspectors from the BDDK banking watchdog, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The banking investigators were detained on suspicion of making “irregular” investigations into the account of a government-related foundation and those of business people, including targets close to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as part of sweeping corruption investigations that implicated top AK Party figures in late 2013.
The suspected inspectors made 5,270 inquiries into some 60 accounts during 317 inspections between Jan. 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, including the account of the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV), a foundation close to Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, and the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), which organized the ill-fated 2010 flotilla to Gaza, for its objection to a recent agreement between Turkey and Israel and its decision to launch a flotilla in the first place.
President Erdoğan had stated that the İHH was an aid organization that risked death for its cause. However, after the recent Turkey-Israel normalization deal in late June this year he criticized the group, asking “Did you ask the then-prime minister [himself] to take such humanitarian aid from Turkey?”
Turkish police issued 187 arrest warrants and raided some 200 homes and workplaces on Thursday as their investigation into last month’s failed military coup shifted towards the business community, said Daily Mail.
The assets of 187 businessmen were confiscated, Anadolu Agency said. The annual income of four largest companies raided on Thursday operation is said to be around TL 8.6 billion or $2.96 billion.
President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to choke off businesses allegedly linked to Gulen, whom he blames for the coup attempt, describing his schools, firms and charities as ‘nests of terrorism.’
Gulen has repeatedly condemned the coup attempt, and denied any responsibility for it.
A purge aimed at cleansing the sympathizers of the teachings of Gulen from within state institutions has resulted in 40,029 people being detained since the coup attempt with about half being formally arrested pending charges.
Some 80,000 people have been suspended from their positions at state bodies.