Turkish police raid business group linked to Erdogan rival



Turkish police on Friday raided the offices of a major business group linked to a US-based cleric who has become President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s archfoe, local media reported.

Officers were searching the Ankara headquarters of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (Tuskon), the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The reason for the police operation was not immediately known.

Since Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept back to power in Sunday’s election, the police have already launched crackdowns on the president’s rivals and opposition media, raising fears about the government’s commitment to democracy.

Police also this week detained dozens of high-ranking bureaucrats and police officers in several cities as part of a probe into supporters of the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the United States.

A former ally of Erdogan, the 74-year-old Gulen is charged with “running a terrorist group” which launched a corruption probe into the president’s inner circle in 2013.

The government accuses Gulen and his loyalists of forming a “parallel state” to push Erdogan and his party from power.

Having emerged stronger from Sunday’s election, the AKP government is expected to speed up efforts to clear the state apparatus of so-called Gulenists.

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