Turkish gov’t arrests 50,136, detains 154,694 people over alleged links with Gülen movement since July 15

File photo.

Basing on the information taken from Turkey’s Justice Ministry, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency (AA) has reported that 154,694 people have been investigated (detained) and 50,136 people have been jailed across Turkey over their alleged links with the Gülen movement since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to the figures given by AA report, no legal investigation has started only for 2,763 people who were detained during the post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

It is reported that among the jailed people there are 2,431 judges and prosecutors, 104 members of the Court of Cassation, 41 members of the Council of State, 2 members of the Constitutional Court, 3 members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), 6,982 military officers and soldiers including 167 generals, 8,816 police officers, 23 governors, 72 deputy governors, 112 district governors and 31,550 public employees and civilians.

45,708 of those people who were detained by police have been released by the courts with he decision of judicial probe and 12,753 people who were detained by police have been released after interrogations in police detention centers or after standing before Turkish courts.

Moreover, it is reported that 7,430 of those people who were imprisoned after failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 were released from jails. 7,122 of those released people have put under judicial probe. There are 1,132 military personnel, 1,247 police officers, 9 deputy governors, 3 governors, 3 district governors, 195 judges and prosecutors, 2 HYSK members, 1 member of the Council of State and 8 members of the Court of Cassation among those who were released from the Turkey’s jails.

According to AA report, Turkish courts under the strict control and the direct directives of Turkish government have issued arrest warrants for 7,112 people who have not been detained or jailed yet. There are 211 judges and prosecutors, 6 members of the Council of State, 25 members of the Court of Cassation, 137 military officers, 369 police officers, 3 deputy governors, 8 district governors, 6,353 civil servants and civilians among those still wanted by the Turkish government.

In the framework of continuing post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, currently, there are 655 people under police detention across Turkey, according to figures given by Turkey’s justice ministry to AA.

The coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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. The Turkish government has failed to present any direct evidence linking Gülen or the movement to the abortive coup.

President Erdoğan started describing the Gülen movement as illegal structure first and later as a terrorist organization, following the expose on major corruption investigations on December 2013 that implicated Erdoğan and his family members in billions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks.

Fethullah Gülen who criticized Erdoğan and his government for corruption suddenly became a foe for Erdoğan. The fact that Gülen also remained opposed to Turkey’s interference into Syrian domestic affairs and is critical of Erdoğan’s arming and funding of radical Jihadist groups has drawn the ire of Erdoğan since 2011 when Syrian civil war started. Gülen movement has been known as a strong advocate of interfaith dialogue and science education. The movement has educational and cultural activities in over 160 countries.

May 28, 2017

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