Abdullah Bozkurt/Stockholm

The proposal to establish such a unit was first put on the table during private talks between visiting Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and his host, Shehryar Khan Afridi, the then-minister of state for interior, on December 17, 2018.

The first public admission of this clandestine operation was made by Soylu during an interview on October 13, 2022 with a local TV station in Kahramanmaraş.

Turkey sent five police chiefs from various departments in the Security General Directorate (Emniyet). The team worked for months in Pakistan to get the project off the ground and finally completed it. The cooperation has since continued under successive governments, with some 6,000 Pakistani police officers trained by Turkey for this and other projects.

Soylu is no ordinary Turkish interior minister. Unlike his predecessors, Soylu has gained notoriety in running troll and bot armies in cyberspace on behalf of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and had worked on similar covert operations even before he became interior minister in September 2016.

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