130 people detained, arrest warrants issued for 72 academics in anti-Gülen witch hunt in Turkey

A total of 130 individuals were detained in police operations that targeted the alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, as detention warrants were issued for 72 people, mostly academicians who used to work for the now-closed Süleyman Şah University on Friday.

Ninety-eight of the individuals were detained in provinces Ankara, Aydın, Manisa, Antalya and İzmir following simultaneous police raids on Friday morning. The detainees include military officers, teachers, doctors and salespeople some of whom are accused of using ByLock, a smart phone application which is the top communication tool among the followers of the Gülen movement according to Turkish authorities.

In another operation in the central province of Kayseri, 32 teachers who were removed from their posts by the government due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement after July 15, were detained. These detainees are also reportedly being accused of using ByLock.

Moreover, detention warrants were issued for 72 people who used to work for the now-closed Süleyman Şah University as part of the post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement on Friday. The suspects include academics and university personnel, who are accused of having used ByLock. Süleyman Şah University was earlier closed down by the government over its ties to the movement.

Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt. Turkey has already detained more than 120,000 people over alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. (SCF with turkeypurge.com & turkishminute.com) May 5, 2017

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