Dozens of people detained across Turkey over their alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish police teams on Thursday detained dozens of people in many provinces of Turkey over their alleged links to faith-based Gülen movement on Thursday in the framework of massive post-coup witch hunt campaing launched by Turkish government following the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016

A total of 50 people were detained in Hatay province on allegations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock. Fifty people, including officers who were dismissed from their positions with a government decree, were detained as part of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of the the faith-based Gülen movement.

Also, 41 people were detained by police forces in Tekirdağ province on Thursday on allegations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock. Police detained these 41 people following Tekirdağ Chief Prosecutor Office has issued detention warrants for 127 people. It was reported that there are businessmen, imams, journalists, bankers, health workers, students, teachers, veterinars, nurses, doctors, shopkeepers, workers, police officers and housewives among those wanted.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a Gülen follower as they see the mobile phone application as the top communication tool among Gülen followers. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Moreover, police teams have detained 78 people also on Thursday in 6 provinces in a Antalya-based post-coup witch hunt operation targeting alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Police teams raided the adresses of 78 people, who were members of business union called AKÇA-DER which was closed by the government in the aftermath of the contorversial coup attempt last year, in Antalya, İstanbul, Mardin, Balıkesir, Malatya and Afyonkarahisar provinces. Detained people were charged of opposing the government and coming together to curse it through prayers (!)

Also, Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam Uluçam, former rector of Batman University and head of an excavation team in Hasankeyf’s historic area, was put in pre-trial arrest over his alleged links to Gülen movement on Wednesday. Detained while inspecting the excavation work at the historic site on Saturday, Ulucam spent 4 days under custody before a Batman court arrested him on July 12.

It was reported that Uluçam was detained, in the first place, for signing a cooperation protocol between Batman University and Albania-based Epoka University, which is claimed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement, and maintaining good relations with the university even after the major corruption and bribery investigations that implicated cabinet ministers and Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family members in late 2013.

The government claimed that the investigations were an attempt to topple down the government, launched by the Gülen movement’s sympathizers within the state bureaucracy. The investigations, which have been closed since then, marked the fallout between the movement and the government and most of the prosecutors as well as police officers taking part in the operations were dismissed.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Justice Ministry has announced on Thursday (July 13, 2017) that a total of 50,510 people have been arrested while 169,013 others have been the subject of legal proceedings since a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup charges.

According to data released by the Justice Ministry, there are pending detention warrants for 8,087 individuals, 152 of whom are officers, 392 are police officers and three are governors.

Among the arrested, there are 169 generals, 7,089 colonels and 24 governors.

A total of 2,431 members of the Turkish judiciary are also among those arrested in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt while 265 of them are at large.

Meanwhile, Yunus Nadi Kolukısa, the head of Inspection Board of Judges and Prosecutors Board (HSK), has announced on Thursday that a total of 4,521 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed by HSK from Turkey’s judiciary over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Kolukısa has also confessed that Erdoğanist HSK’s post-coup witch hunt targeting non-partisan judges and prosecutors by saying that “Our invesitgations and researches are still continuing. Because there might be crypto Gülenists.”

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. (SCF with & July 13, 2017

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