42 Bank Asya, 31 KYK and PTT employees and more detained, 3 mayors dismissed in Turkey

Turkish government has continued its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement as police has detained at least 42 people who were former employees of private Islamic lender Bank Asya, which was affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Detentions came after İstanbul’s Anadolu Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 78 people including former executives of the bank. People, who were detained in İstanbul-based operations launched in seven provinces by İstanbul Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit, are accused of being members of and financing a “terrorist organization.” It was reported that operations are ongoing to arrest the remaining 36 people.

Bank Asya’s banking license was cancelled on July 22, 2016 — seven days after the controversial coup attempt — by Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). The banking watchdog had ruled for the complete takeover of all shares of the Islamic lender by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund in May 2015.

Also on Friday, over the demand of İstanbul’s Anadolu Chief Prosecutor’s Office, an İstanbul court has issued arrest warrants for 64 people who worked for seized Kaynak Holding, including former executives and  executive board members like Naci Tosun, Ali Akbulut, İzzet Akyar, Cevdet Türkyolu, Mustafa Talat Katırcıoğlu.

İstanbul’s Anadolu Chief Prosecutor’s Office had issued detention warrants for 128 executives and employees of the Kaynak Holding and 19 companies, 1 foundation and 1 association under the holding’s roof. Police had detained 40 people and 34 of them were arrested by an İstanbul court previously.

Meanwhile, detention warrants were issued on Friday for 31 people who used to work at the Higher Education Loans and Accommodation (KYK) and the Post and Telegraph Directorate of Turkey (PTT) on the grounds that they were allegedly using a smart phone application known as ByLock.

Twenty-five of the detained used to work for the KYK and six used to work for the PTT, yet they were expelled from their posts with a government decree due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the followers of the movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also in Mersin province, 6 military officers were detained over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday. In a Mersin-based investigation police has conducted operations in 9 provinces including Mersin, Van, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Şanlıurfa, Malatya, Şırnak and Ağrı. It was reported that police is searching 4 more military officers to detain.

In İzmir, 22 people including police officers who were dismissed by government’s executive decrees under the rule of emergency were detained on Thursday.

Furthermore, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has removed three mayors from their posts who were earlier expelled from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) due to ongoing judicial and administrative investigations against them.

The ministry has removed Ceyhan mayor Alemdar Öztürk in Adana, Sarıoğlan mayor Ali Osman Yıldız in Kayseri and Ayaş mayor Bülent Taşan in Ankara from their posts.

The ministry did not cite any reason regarding the expulsion of the mayors and only said the mayors were removed from their posts out of necessity.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 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.

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.

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 turkishminute.com) June 16, 2017


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