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    Turkish judges arrested in 'parallel state’ case

    Two suspended judges were arrested after they ordered release of suspects in ‘parallel state’ case

    Bakı. 1 May. REPORT.AZ/ An Istanbul court ordered late Thursday the arrest of two judges in custody who were suspended following their decision to release suspects in a "parallel state" case.

    Report informs referring to the Anadolu Agency, Metin Ozcelik, former judge of the Istanbul 29nd Penal Court of First Instance, has been arrested by order of the Bakirkoy 2nd High Criminal Court for using his position in an unauthorized way. An arrest warrant was also issued later for his colleague Mustafa Baser for the same reason.

    Ozcelik and his colleague Mustafa Baser, former judge of the Istanbul 32nd Penal Court of First Instance, were detained earlier Thursday and later were referred to the court for arrest.

    The judges had been suspended on grounds of "damaging the reputation and influence of the judiciary" after they attempted Saturday to order the release of Hidayet Karaca, the chairman of the Samanyolu Media Group, and 75 others, including some police chiefs, being probed in a "parallel state" case.

    Istanbul judge Erdogan Simsek also declared Tuesday that the "unauthorized" release decisions of the two judges were "null and void," confirming a similar declaration by Istanbul's 10th Penal Court of Peace on Sunday.

    The ongoing "parallel state" case was launched on Dec. 14, 2014, against senior media figures and police officers in 13 provinces across Turkey for allegedly being affiliated with what the government describes as a "parallel state" - a purported group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police, which the Turkish government alleges are plotting to undermine it.

    Members of the "parallel state" - which refers to the so-called "Gulen movement" allegedly involving U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and his supporters - are also accused of orchestrating a corruption probe which targeted high-ranking Turkish officials in December 2013.

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