511 German citizens victims of Turkish scam over alleged links to Gülen movement

At least 511 German citizens have been scammed out of 7 million euros in total, fearing investigations reportedly opened into them in Turkey over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to a report in the Turkish media on Tuesday 11 people were detained on fraud charges in Turkey’s resort province of Antalya. The detainees are accused of swindling German citizens of Turkish origin who were tricked into giving away thousands of euros to cancel alleged investigations launched in Turkey against them.

“An arrest warrant was issued for you over your support for FETÖ. In order for us to revoke the warrant, you are required to pay 12,500 euros,” victims had been told.

“FETÖ” is a derogatory term coined by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to the Gülen movement.

At least 511 German citizens have been scammed out of 7 million euros so far, Turkish media reported. The scheme mostly targeted German citizens of Turkish origin.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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