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Erdoğan gov’t let drug traffickers go while punishing those who investigated them in Turkey

Erdoğan gov’t let drug traffickers go while punishing those who investigated them in Turkey

In a bizarre twist of events, the Turkish government launched a criminal probe into police chiefs who had exposed corrupt police officers on the payroll of a drug cartel and investigated drug smuggling networks that were moving heroin from Iran to Europe, classified documents have revealed.

According to documents that were stamped secret and obtained by Nordic Monitor, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan initiated both administrative and judicial probes into veteran police chiefs who had investigated key operatives in the drug gang, wiretapped their phones and exposed their operations, which led to major drug busts including the arrest of a major drug lord who lined up routes through Turkey for drug shipments to the Netherlands and Spain.

The investigation was launched after the police were tipped off about drug traffickers, prompting the investigators to obtain authorization to monitor communications of the drug gang in order to learn more about the network and identify more operatives in the trafficking gang.

The police intelligence filing with the court as part of the authorization request to wiretap the suspects on April 10, 2009 indicated that the investigators had determined that the drug trafficking gang was moving heroin from Turkey to Europe. The police stated that suspects Murat Nemutlu, a police chief who had been helping the drug cartel from the inside; Şevket Hidayet; Akif Bıyıklılar; and Yaşar Eşit were secretly meeting in Istanbul to send a new shipment destined for the Netherlands and Spain.

According to another secret intelligence note dated January 9, 2009, suspects identified as Şevket Hidayet and his sons Şıh Mehmet Hidayet and Halil Hidayet also worked together with notorious drug lord Habib Kanat to manufacture Captagon in an organized industrial complex in Istanbul’s Tuzla district and planned to move it to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. The findings also pointed out that Syrian national Nazir Koja acted as an intermediary in the trafficking and Turkish nationals Mustafa Aral, Murat Nemutlu and Gafur Cem Cehdioğlu, all senior police chiefs, help the gang evade the bureaucracy.