Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused both police and prosecutors of spying for other states after an alleged phone conversation between Erdogan and his son on how to hide money was leaked online.
“The most confidential information of my country is being wiretapped by spies working for other countries and published while the prosecutors and judges of this country remain indifferent to that,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying on Thursday.
The leaked phone conversations, posted on YouTube, allegedly revealed Erdogan asking his son, Bilal, to turn millions of euros in cash stashed at several houses into “zero.” Bilal at one point can be heard saying, “There is 30 million euros (USD 41 million) more.”
The phone conversations, whose authenticity could not be verified, were said to date back to December 17, 2013, when massive graft raids were conducted by Turkish police.
Erdogan went on to say, “I am openly asking the prosecutor. For which country did you do these wiretappings? I am also asking the police, those who were involved in this case. For which country did you make these wiretappings?”
The premier also accused the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of collaborating over the latest leaked tapes.
On Monday, Turkish pro-government newspapers Yenisafak and Star reported that associates of Gulen in the police and the judiciary had eavesdropped on the phone calls of Erdogan, politicians and businessmen for three year.
“If you haven’t done anything wrong, don’t stay in Pennsylvania. If your country is Turkey, return home. If you want to do politics, hit the streets and do it,” Erdogan said in an address to Gulen.
Erdogan has accused rivals in the Gulen group of acting as a “state within a state” trying to topple his government by prompting the high-level corruption probe against his close allies. However, Gulen has denied any involvement.