Turkey: eight police officers kept in custody on spying claims

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Crowds gathered in Istanbul on Friday where a court ordered that eight police officers be kept in custody pending a possible trial over accusations they spied on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle.

Other policemen among dozens detained this week were freed to the delight of supporters who say the investigation by Turkish authorities is politically motivated.

Tuesday’s operation followed a stream of purges targeting the police, judiciary and state institutions this year which government critics have condemned as a symptom of Erdogan’s tightening grip.

Erdogan is a candidate in Turkey’s forthcoming presidential election. Concern about his autocratic style has been fuelled by his intention to boost the powers of the presidency, if he is elected.