Twenty-eight of 33 previously detained academics were referred to court on Monday, with an İstanbul prosecutor demanding their arrest over the use of a smart phone application named ByLock, which is considered by the Turkish government to be “proof” of a connection to Gülen movement.
The accused academics are working for the country’s prestigious İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ).
According to the data compiled by turkeypurge.com and web portal Freedom for Turkish Academics 6.986 scholars have been purged from Turkish universities with several decrees issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP government in wake of July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey has survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Erdoğan passed a decree ordering the closure of 15 universities and 800 student dormitories across Turkey. The shutting down of the universities has left 61,382 students in academic limbo.
The same decree and the following ones also ordered the dismissal of thousands of academics working at 108 Turkish universities. Hundreds of these academicians are currently under arrest behind the bars.
The Gülen movement is held responsible by the government for the failed coup, although no credible evidence has been presented to the public. The peaceful movement rejects the allegations, and Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has denounced anyone who believes in his principles who might have participated in the coup.
A leaked report from the European Union’s intelligence agency in January revealed that there is no evidence of Gülen’s masterminding of the coup attempt. Some anonymous NATO sources even claim that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan staged the coup as a pretext to undertake a purge.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. (turkishminute.com)