Turkey’s daily allegedly wiretapped

A former top police officer who was arrested in a drug trafficking investigation said Saturday  29 May that he was told in August 2008 that the phone lines at the daily Milliyet were wiretapped.

Former Deputy Police Chief Emin Aslan, arrested in September 2009, said during a hearing in his ongoing trial that a group in the Police Department was wiretapping journalists, politicians, judges and bureaucrats through the use of IMEI numbers. IMEI numbers are similar to serial numbers and are used to identify mobile devices on telecommunication networks. With access to a phone’s IMEI number, all lines used via the communication device can be wiretapped.

Aslan said he believed that some people were unhappy because he mentioned in public the negligence of institutions in the investigation of the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. He said daily Milliyet also published many stories about the Dink case, implying that the newspaper might have been wiretapped by those who are investigating Dink’s case.

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