18 students, 3 teachers detained during Turkish police raid on prep school over Gülen links

Twenty-one people were detained in a Friday police raid on a prep school established by teachers who were earlier removed from their jobs by a Turkish government decree issued under an ongoing state of emergency over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Counterterrorism police in Turkey’s western province of Denizli raided a tutoring centre in Merkezefendi on accusations that it was set up and being operated illegally, according to a report by the pro-government Hürriyet daily.

Eighteen high school graduates who are preparing for the nationwide university admission exam were detained along with three teachers whose teaching licenses had previously been cancelled by the government.

The prep school was shut down during the operation. While the students were released after questioning, the teachers were reportedly still awaiting a decision by the prosecutor.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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