Interior minister vows to catch 'big fish' amid police probe

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya has announced an intensified crackdown on major criminal organizations during a recent series of briefings, emphasizing the scope of the operations.

"We are not dealing with anchovy or horse mackerel, we are trying to catch tuna. So we are after the big fish," Yerlikaya said during a briefing intended to update MPs from the south and west of the country on May 31.

Yerlikaya's comments follow the suspension of senior police officers in Ankara amid an investigation into a criminal organization allegedly led by Ayhan Bora Kaplan.

The suspended officers are accused of manipulating the legal process, according to allegations made by Serdar Sertçelik, a fugitive defendant connected to Kaplan's crime gang.

The chief public prosecutor's office in the capital initiated the investigation, which has now broadened to include accusations against police officers of attempting to implicate former ministers and active bureaucrats in the case.

High-profile figures such as former minister and current Parliament Deputy Speaker Bekir Bozdağ, and former ministers and current AKP lawmakers Abdulhamit Gül and Süleyman Soylu were notably absent from Yerlikaya's briefings, daily Hürriyet said.

Sertçelik has alleged that he was coerced by police to testify against several former and current ministers, including Soylu, Bozdağ and Gül. His claims have intensified scrutiny of police conduct in the case.

Yerlikaya's briefings received mixed reactions. While some MPs appreciated the transparency, others criticized Yerlikaya for presenting without his suit jacket, the daily wrote.

Meanwhile, Sertçelik was apprehended in Hungary on May 30 using a fake Georgian passport. Türkiye has initiated extradition...

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