Dozens of senior police officers in Turkey have been arrested in a series of raids around the country.
They are accused of spying and illegal wire-tapping as they carried out an anti-corruption investigation into the prime minister’s inner circle.
The news channel CNN Turk said at least 76 officers were detained in 22 provinces around the country on suspicion of forming a criminal organisation and illegally bugging phones, weeks ahead of a presidential election in which Recep Tayyip Erdogan is standing.
Last December those close to political power were on the receiving end, as the sons of government ministers and prominent businessmen were detained in the corruption probe into Turkey’s elite.
That action led to the dismissal of Istanbul’s police chief and dozens of senior officers as Erdogan denounced what he called a “dirty operation” against the government.
Earlier this month the prime minister launched his election campaign to run for president in August, promising a “pioneering new Turkey”.
The various clampdowns have been seen as part of a power struggle between the government on one side, and police and prosecutors on the other.