114 people face detention over alleged Gülen links

Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 114 people including former public servants who were removed from their jobs by government decrees due to alleged links to the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Bold Medya news website.

Raids were conducted across 45 provinces on Friday to detain the suspects, 80 former and eight current public servants as well as 26 private sector employees, as part of an investigation overseen by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The detention warrants were issued based on lists prepared by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the Security Directorate General.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of Dec. 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following the abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced in November.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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