As 22 academics and administrative staff members from İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ were arrested, 23 professors and public servants were detained in Turkey as part of ongoing operations targeting people who have alleged links with the Gülen movement. Also, 6 more police officers were arrested over alleged coup involvement.
Twenty-two out of 28 academic and administrative staff members from İTÜ who were referred to court for arrest on Monday due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement were arrested on Tuesday. The İTÜ staff members are accused of using a smart phone application known as ByLock. The application is considered by the Turkish government as a ‘proof’ for connection to Gülen movement.
A total of 33 staff members from İTÜ were detained earlier this month. Eleven of them were released on judicial probation.
Meanwhile, 23 professors, public servants were also detained as part of ongoing operations targeting the followers of the Gülen movement due to their use of a smart phone application known as ByLock on Monday. The operations, which were based in the eastern province of Adıyaman, were conducted across 8 provinces.
The detainees were reportedly dismissed from profession with recent decrees issued by Turkish government in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
A Turkish court in Sivas also ruled for the arrest of a total of 6 more police officers on Tuesday over alleged links to the Gülen movement. Thirty-six police officers were detained last week in simultaneous raids in Sivas province. Of those, 11 were sent to jail last Wednesday. The same court ruled for the arrest of six more officers early on Tuesday while releasing one pending trial.
On the other hand, 8 colonels, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s former chief military aide, Staff Col. Bekir Furkan Özdaban,who were detained as part of an investigation into a failed coup attempt on July 15, have been released.
Also, 9 officers who were detained in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) on Jan.16 and brought to Ankara, where one of them was immediately released. Four of the remaining colonels were referred to court for arrest, while four of them were released on judicial probation.
An Ankara court on Tuesday decided to release the other four colonels including Özdaban but imposed a travel ban on them. Özdaban served as chief military aide during former President Abdullah Gül’s term in office and served in the same capacity for Erdoğan for a short period of time.
Turkey survived a military 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, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The movement has categorically denied the accusations.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt. Furthermore, as of Feb. 7, 2017, over 90.870 people were detained and 44.524 people were arrested due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.