Turkish police teams on Monday detained 42 people, including acedemicians, at İstanbul’s Boğaziçi and Medeniyet universities over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, Doğan News Agency has reported.
According to the report, the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has asked the detention of 72 people on charges of supporting the Gülen movement. The detention warrants were issued for eight people at Boğaziçi University including Professor Koray Çalışkan and 64 people at Medeniyet University including 19 assistant professors at the university’s faculty of medicine.
The report said the majority of the people for whom detention warrants were issued are users of a smart phone application called ByLock. Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.
Turkey’s main oppositon Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İstanbul Deputy Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, who announced the news about Çalışkan’s detention from his Twitter account on Monday, said: “March for 25 days for justice, chant the word ‘justice’ with millions. And the house of a state-run university professor is being raided early in the morning. Good morning new Turkey!”
Salıcı was referring to the “March for Justice” launched by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15 from Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.
The end of the march was marked with a “Justice Rally” in Maltepe district of İstanbul on Sunday. In his rally speech, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu called on the government to comply with a 10-item list of demands.
Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors have also issued detention warrants for 43 people working at the prime ministry on the grounds that they have links to the faith-based Gülen movement on Monday. Police teams began the detentions of the individuals who are accused of using a smart phone application known as ByLock on Monday morning.
Some of the individuals for whom detention warrants were issued had already been fired from their jobs through government decrees after the coup attempt on allegations that they had links to the Gülen movement.
Turkey survived a controversial 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 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) 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. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 10, 2017