6 former public servants arrested to serve sentences for Gülen links

Anti-smuggling and organized crime police on Tuesday arrested six former public servants in Ankara to serve sentences for links to the Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Among those who were arrested were a former judge, military officer, police officer and police captain. The six were sent to Ankara’s Sincan Prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

According to a statement from the Turkish interior minister, a total of 319,587 people have been detained while 99,962 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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