20 military officers arrested over alleged Gülen links in Konya-based coup probe

Twenty military officers were arrested on Friday as part of a Konya-based investigation targeting the alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement in the military, the state-run Anadolu news agency has reported.

According to the report, the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office recently issued detention warrants for 70 officers, 65 of whom were subsequently detained as a result of operations across 32 provinces. Twenty of the 65 military officers were arrested while 45 of them were released on judicial probation on Friday. The court also imposed a travel ban on the 45 officers who were released.

Turkey survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 23, 2017

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