767 people detained in a week across Turkey over alleged links with Gülen movement

Turkey’s Interior Ministry has announced on Monday that a total of 767 people were detained across Turkey  during the week of May 8-15, 2017 as part of a massive post-coup witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also, on Monday, thirty-three people including number of doctors were detained in Adıyaman over alleged links with the Gülen movement. Detained medical staff, including doctors and a deputy chief physician, were taken to police headquarters in Adıyaman.

During the same period, 38 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed and 14 militants were caught and 118 PKK sympathizers were detained. Along the same week, just 2 members of the radical Islamist terror organization Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were detained by Turkish police, according to the statement of Turkey’s Interior Ministry.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that 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. The movement denies any involvement.

According to a statement from Interior Minister 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. On May 6, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement since July 15 of last year.

Contrary to accusations made by Erdoğan and the Turkish government, the head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, on March 18 said Turkey could not convince them that US-based Turkish-Islamic scholar Gülen was behind the failed coup attempt on July 15.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament concluded on March 25 that Gülen and the movement he inspired as a whole were not behind the failed coup attempt.

On March 19 Devin Nunes, chairman of United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also said he has not seen any evidence showing Gülen’s involvement in the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

In January, a report prepared by the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen) revealed that the coup attempt was staged by a range of Erdoğan’s opponents due to fears of an impending purge.

May 15, 2017

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