Jan 15, 2015 Spacewar.com (AFP)
Istanbul - Turkey has suspended five prosecutors working on a contentious investigation into an alleged delivery of arms for Syrian rebels that was intercepted on the border last year, media reports said Thursday.
The top Turkish judicial committee said the decision was taken so as not to hamper the inquiry or tarnish the reputation of the judiciary, the official Anatolia news agency reported.
The move came a day after Turkey imposed an all-out media blackout, including on Facebook and Twitter, prohibiting publication of reports on the issue.
In January last year, Turkish police stopped and seized seven trucks near the Syrian border that were suspected of smuggling weapons into Syria.
The move came as the government in Ankara denied suspicions it was aiding rebel forces fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
A series of documents were then leaked on the Internet indicating that the seized trucks were actually National Intelligence Agency (MIT) vehicles delivering weapons to Syrian Islamist rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey has vehemently denied aiding Islamist rebels in Syria, such as the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
Nineteen security officials who stopped the trucks are currently on trial on "spying" charges. They face so-called aggravated life sentences if found guilty.
The Radikal online newspaper spoke to one of the suspended prosecutors, Aziz Takci, who said "I did my work well and I stick by my position."
However opposition Turkish daily BirGun openly flouted the publication injunction, putting the allegations and the documents on its front page Wednesday.
Anti-secrecy websites outside Turkey have also posted the documents which have now been taken off the Internet inside the country.