Mehmet Perinçek, the son of Workers' Party (İP) leader Doğu Perinçek who is currently jailed as a key Ergenekon suspect, and three others were arrested early Tuesday morning as part of the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network charged with plotting to overthrow the government.
Nine suspects, who were detained last week after raids on the offices of the İP, the Ulusal Kanal TV station, which is known for its connections to the İP, and Aydınlık magazine, were on Monday referred to the courthouse to be questioned by Ergenekon prosecutor Cihan Kansız. The prosecutor released five of them while he referred four of them to court, requesting their arrest.
The İstanbul 12th High Criminal Court ruled arrest Perinçek, İP Deputy Chairman Bedri Gültekin, İP İstanbul branch Chairman Erkan Önsel and Ulusal Kanal News Editor Turan Özlü.
The police are reportedly investigating claims that the suspects had the transcript of a 2004 phone conversation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) President Mehmet Ali Talat. The conversation was a cover story for the Aydınlık newsweekly -- a publication put out by the İP -- in 2009, which suggested that Ergenekon had wiretapped Erdoğan.
Police found recordings of phone conversations Erdoğan had between 1999 and 2004 on a CD seized during a raid of Aydınlık's offices in 2009. There were also recordings of İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş; Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek; ministers Ali Babacan, Hilmi Güler, Egemen Bağış and Cemil Çiçek; businessman Remzi Gür; former UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro De Soto; aide to Prime Minister Erdoğan Cüneyd Zapsu; and journalists Murat Yetkin and Hakan Aygün.