966 detained in Turkey in post-coup witch-hunt targeting Gülen movement in one week

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that a total of 966 people have been detained in the past week as part of an ongoing post-coup witch-hunt carried out by the government against the alleged members of the faith-based Gülen movement.

The Turkish Interior Ministry has also announced that at least 48 people were detained over the past week on charges of making propaganda on social media on behalf of the Gülen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL). The ministry said investigations were launched against 361 social media users while only 48 of them were detained over the past week.

Also on Sunday, two academics and a teacher who were earlier dismissed from their jobs under a post-coup emergency degree were detained by a gendarmerie team in Saçlımüsellim village in Turkey’s border province of Edirne. There was also a baby with the trio, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

M.A.B. was an instructor at the Marmara University before being purged, while A.M.K. was an academic at the now-closed Melikşah University. Meanwhile, S.K. was a computer science teacher before being sacked. The three were detained just before they were about to flee Turkey on the grounds that they have alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the Jul 15, 2016.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that 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.

Turkey has already detained some 120,000 people over alleged ties to the movement, while many of those in prison had been already sacked from their jobs. 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 turkeypurge.com) May 22, 2017

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