891 detained over alleged Gülen links, 41 for social media posts in one week

File photo.

A total of 891 people were detained in operations targeting the faith-based Gülen movement while 41 detained due to their posts on social media over the past week, according to a statement from Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday. The detentions took place between May 1-8.

The ministry said an investigation was carried out about 261 social media accounts last week and 41 out of 120 people who have been identified were detained due to their social media posts that allegedly praise or promote the activities of a number of terror organizations.

In operations targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish police detained 31 people in the past week, the ministry said.

As a result of operations targeting left-wing terror organizations, the ministry said 28 suspects had been detained in the same period, while police took 214 people into custody over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The ministry did not give any information about the number of people who were arrested.


Meanwhile, forty out of 61 people who were detained in İstanbul while in hiding because of an ongoing government witch-hunt against the faith-based Gülen movement, were arrested on Monday. Last week, 61 people were detained in an investigation targeting the Gülen followers who were in hiding in İstanbul. The detainees included Sadettin Ulubay, the owner of Emex Hotels. Ulubay was also arrested on Monday.

Also, suspended from his post as part of post-coup witch hunt targeting the Gülen movement, police officer, identified with initials M.Ö., has been detained while he was on his way to escape Turkey to Georgia on Sunday. M.Ö. was taken to Tokat police headquarters after being detained on Sarp border gate.

Since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 the Turkish government has been carrying a massive crackdown on the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. The military coup attempt 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

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 statement from Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on May 6, 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com) May 8, 2017

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