Erdoğan pledges to limit ‘bureaucratic control’ amid police inquiry

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pledged resolute action against any form of “bureaucratic control” as an investigation unfolds into a purported criminal network entangling police officials.


“We are following every incident that has come to the agenda recently, in all its dimensions, down to the smallest detail,” Erdoğan said during a parliamentary meeting on May 15.

“We will make sure that anyone who violates the law, commits an error or fault is held accountable on legal grounds.”

The president’s remarks come on the heels of the suspension of three senior police officers in the capital Ankara amid ongoing investigations into a criminal organization allegedly spearheaded by Ayhan Bora Kaplan.

“We cannot and will not allow the bureaucratic control, which we have degraded as a result of hard struggles in the last 21 years, to recur again,” Erdoğan said.

The suspended officers include Murat Çelik, the deputy provincial police chief in charge of combating organized crime; Kerem Gökay Öner, the branch manager overseeing organized crime investigations; and Şevket Demircan, the deputy head of the organized crime branch.

Local media reports have hinted at potential links between the scrutinized criminal network and Kaplan, purportedly its mastermind.

The investigation aims to unravel the intricacies of the police officers’ involvement and any potential collusion with the alleged criminal enterprise.

Serdar Sertçelik, identified as a “secret witness” in the case, has accused the police of orchestrating a conspiracy aimed at implicating former ministers and active bureaucrats.

He further alleged that elements within the Ankara police’s organized crime units were striving to “orchestrate a coup” through their involvement.

Erdoğan drew parallels to the infiltration of FETÖ within state institutions, particularly referencing the coup attempt in 2016. He emphasized the government’s stance against any resurgence of such clandestine groups.

“Those who want to pay their debt to FETÖ are never idle,” Erdoğan said. “We are aware of where those whose sole capital in politics is dividing people are trying to reach. We know both the puppet and the puppeteer very well.”

FETÖ, led by its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the foiled coup of July 15, 2016, resulting in the loss of over 250 lives and injuring around 2,700 individuals.

Official figures from 2022 indicate that over 330,000 individuals with ties to FETÖ have been detained, with nearly 20,000 serving prison sentences.

“There is no excuse for not doing your duty towards the country and the nation,” Erdoğan said. “For us, every second is the trust of our nation, and it is our duty to spend every second for our nation.”