Espionage gang obtained health reports of military generals
The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has found that an espionage gang with members from inside the military obtained reports detailing the health of several generals, including former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İlker Başbuğ, from various hospitals.

Documents seized from the homes of the gang's suspected members include the health reports of Başbuğ, former War Academies Commander Gen. Bilgin Balanlı and retired Gen. Saldıray Berk as well as several other high-ranking officers of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The reports were issued by the İstanbul and Ankara branches of the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA).

Earlier this year, the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the gang, whose members stand accused of obtaining classified military information to sell to third parties. Dozens of gang members have been arrested so far on charges of prostitution, blackmail and espionage. The suspects are accused of hiring foreign women as prostitutes for military officers. They later illegally obtained personal information about those officers and blackmailed them using this information in order to ensure that the officers provided the gang with classified information.

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office set up a team of experts to examine documents obtained from the gang, and the experts discovered that the gang cooperated with doctors and nurses at various military hospitals to obtain information regarding the health of military brass. The experts recently drafted a report on their findings and sent it to the prosecutor's office.

According to the report, the espionage gang had close contacts with some doctors and nurses serving in the urology, otorhinolaryngology, orthopedics, endocrinology and ophthalmology departments of the GATA hospitals. The report also stated that the gang hoped to sell details of the health of military commanders and other officers to third parties.

The ongoing investigation into the espionage ring had previously discovered that they obtained top military secrets, including maps of military barracks and bases, information about munitions stores and software programs of warplanes and military vehicles. The gang is based in İzmir and reportedly has branches in a number of provinces, including İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Antalya, Muğla, Manisa, Zonguldak and Ordu.

In earlier investigations into the gang's activities, police discovered a large number of military documents and other materials, including CDs that showed intimate relations between military officers and foreign women hired as prostitutes by the gang to compromise the officers. Police also seized confidential documents held in military facilities dubbed the "cosmic room" and others prepared by high-level military officers in the past that categorize members of the military according to their religious and ideological persuasion.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-12-25 20:00:02
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