World News

Turkish police detain 30 in explosives cache probe

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police have detained 30 people, including former military personnel and lawyers, in connection with an investigation into a cache of explosives seized last year, Istanbul’s governor said on Tuesday.

Eight months ago, police discovered 27 hand grenades, TNT blocks and fuses during an operation in an Istanbul shanty town.

“Within Istanbul and beyond, a total of 30 people are in custody,” the state-run Anatolian news agency quoted Governor Muammer Guler as saying.

Turkish media have linked the find to the country’s shadowy “deep state”, code for hardline nationalists in the security forces prepared to subvert the law for political ends.

CNN Turk said on its Web site a retired brigadier-general and colonel were among those detained on the instructions of a public prosecutor in Istanbul.

It said those detained included well-known nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who came to prominence over his support for free speech-related prosecutions, such as that against Nobel prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk.

Kerincsiz was representing a retired army captain, who was one of 13 people previously remanded in custody in connection with the probe.

A second lawyer detained, Fuat Turgut, represents a man accused of inciting the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was gunned down outside his office a year ago, the Anatolian news agency said.

Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Janet Lawrence