44 ASELSAN personnel arrested, 17 police detained over alleged Gülen links

Forty-four of 84 detained employees at Turkey’s largest defense electronics company ASELSAN were arrested in Ankara on Thursday over alleged Gülen movement links and involvement in a failed coup on July 15.

On March 9, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 84 people working at ASELSAN, connected to the country’s armed forces foundation, for alleged involvement in coup plotting. The remainder of the detainees were released on probation.

Meanwhile, as part of Turkey’s ongoing purge against the real and perceived sympathizers of the Gülen movement, arrests warrants were issued for 60 previously dismissed officer as 17 officers were detained in a separate operation. Both the arrest warrants and detentions took place citing the use of a smart phone application named ByLock as it is considered a secret messaging system among Gülen movement sympathizers although it was available for all on the internet. 17 police officers were detained in province of Mersin as detention warrants issued across Turkey.

1,143 PUBLIC SERVANTS PURGED IN SMALL PROVINCE OF ISPARTA

On Thursday, the governor’s office in the small province of Isparta announced that a total of 1,143 people have been dismissed from public service as part of a purge of the Gülen movement. The majority of civil servants are from the education and police departments and includes academics from Süleyman Demirel University as well.

A total of 1,587 public workers in Isparta filed objections to dismissals by means of decrees in the wake of a July 15, 2016 coup attempt, with 341 of them being reinstated to their jobs.

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 March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com) March 23, 2017

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