34 employees of government-seized Kaynak Holding jailed over alleged Gülen links

A total of 34 people, who were employees of Turkish business conglomerate Kaynak Holding which was seized in the wake of the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, were arrested by an İstanbul court on Tuesday  over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office had issued arrest warrants for 39 people and they were detained last week as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. An İstanbul criminal court remanded in custody 34 of 39 suspects over charges of “being a member of terror organization” and “financing a terror organization.” The other five suspects were released under judicial control.

Moreover, Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants on Tuesday for 42 people working at Turkey’s Interior Ministry over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also on Tuesday, 11 out of 17 people, who are accused of being the “elder brother of military officers” in an investigation targeting alleged ‘crypto structure’ of the Gülen movement, were detained by police in Tekirdağ province.

It was reported that Tekirdağ Chief Prosecutor Office has issued arrest warrants for 17 people in an investigation targeting alleged “crypto structure” of the Gülen movement. 11 of those, who have been wanted, were detained by police.

Until today, 230 people have been investigated or detained, 102 people were arrested, 93 people were released with judicial probe under the same investigation in the framework of the post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the movement.

Furthermore, in Kahramanmaraş province, 10 teachers, who were previously dismissed from their duties by a government decree under the emergency rule, were detained by police on Tuesday over their alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

It was reported that Kahramanmaraş Chief Prosecutor Office has issued arrest warrants for 12 teachers, police has detained 10 of the dismissed teachers who were accused of have been using ByLock, a mesaaging program for mobile phones.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock as the top communication tool among the followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Meanwhile, it was reported that with the police operations in the framework of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaing targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, 89 academics including 2 deputy rectors, who were working for the Anadolu and Osmangazi universities, have been arrested in Eskişehir province.

According to a report by state-run Anadolu news agency the first police operation targeting Anadolu University academics was conducted on August 18, 2016. In this operation 23 academics were detained and 20 of them were arrested by an Eskişehir court. After the trial in Eskişehir’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court, 6 academics were released, but 18 academics were given prison sentences between 3 years, one month 15 days to 10 years and 6 months.

On March 8, 2017, police detained 33 academics and a court arrested 17 of them over their alleged links to the Gülen movement in Eskişehir. A court case was opened in Eskişehir’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court against 40 academics including 3 professors, 3 associate professors, 5 asistant professors, 2 lecturer and 11 research assistants. Trials are still pending.

In the third vawe of post-coup witch hunt campaing the police detained 12 people who were graduated from Anadolu University’s Civic Aviation Department and a court arrested 8 of them. The trial of these 9 people is still pending in Eskişehir’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court.

On June 2, 2017 the 4th vawe of the witch hunt operations was conducted by police and 5 academics were detained and 4 of them were arrested by an Eskişehir court. Court cases opened against 7 academics and the investigation is still continuing.

The first vawe of witch hunt operations targeting Eskişehir Osmangazi University academics was done on Dec. 23, 2016 and police detained 42 academics. 26 of them including 9 professors (one deputy rector), 4 associate professors, 2 asistant professors, 2 research assistants were arrested by a court.  A court case was opened against 35 academics and the tiral in Eskişehir’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court is still pending.

The second vawe of government’s witch hunt targeting academics in Eskişehir province was conducted by police on May 10, 2017 and police detained 19 academics, and 14 of them including a deputy rector, 4 professors, 3 associate professors, 2 assistant profesors, 4 research assistants were arrested. An investigation about 51 academics including the arrested academicians is still continuing.

Thus, in total, during last 10 months 176 academics were detained, 108 academics have been tried and 89 academics, including 2 deputy rectors, were arrested only in Eskişehir province following the controversial coup atempt on July 15, 2017.

The military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 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.

June 13, 2017

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