60 officers, 73 teachers detained, 128 Kaynak personnel wanted over alleged Gülen links in Turkey

Sixty military officers across Turkey’s 32 provinces were detained on Wednesday as part of a witch hunt operation targeting the alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

As part of the operation based in Konya, the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for a total of 70 officers, 60 of them have been detained so far. The detainees who include military physicians, pilots and officers from the Presidential Guard Regiment, are being accused of being members of an armed terror organization, violating the Constitution and revolting against the government.

Meanwhile, 73 teachers, who were earlier dismissed from their jobs, were detained in an İstanbul-based investigation into the Gülen movement. İstanbul police carried out operations to detain the suspects over their use of ByLock, a controversial mobile application that the government claim to be the top communication tool among the members of the movement. The detainees include 29 female teachers.

According to media, police were able to detain 73 teachers as of Tuesday evening while operations were underway to catch 25 others. Two teachers were earlier arrested over similar charges as part of another investigation.

Furthermore, detention warrants were issued on Wednesday morning for 128 people as part of an investigation into Kaynak Holding, an İstanbul-based conglomerate that the government seized in late 2015. An İstanbul prosecutor has issued detention warrants for 128 executives at 19 companies, 1 foundation and 1 association under Kaynak Holding.

Police raided 103 locations in 7 provinces to detain the suspects on Wednesday, according to pro-government Sabah daily. Sabah said 14 of the suspects have been already in jail over similar charges and 11 of them are abroad.

Kaynak Holding was seized over its alleged links to the Gülen movement. A total of 922 private companies with a value of TL 40.8 billion [$11.46 billion] in assets have been transferred to the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) since the coup attempt. The companies in question were mostly targeted as part of a sweeping state crackdown against the movement.

A 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.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com &turkeypurge.com) June 7, 2017

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