Dozens including doctors, teachers, housewives, military officers & more detained in Turkey on coup charges

File photo.

At least 39 civilians, including doctors, imams and housewives, have been detained by police in six major Turkish provinces over alleged links to the Gülen movement on Saturday.

In Samsun, 15 teachers, 1 doctor, 1 shopkeeper and 1 former employee of now-closed Gülen-affiliated high school, were detained over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock.

ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using the app since the failed coup attempt. All detainees are also accused of membership in an “armed terrorist organization.”

İn İzmir and Aydın, 10 businessmen were detained over similar charges. One of the detainees was reported to be the president of Nazilli Chamber of Commerce.

Also in a Hatay-based investigation in the framework of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement, 13 people were detained by simultaneous police raids in 9 different Turkish provinces on Saturday. The detainees include private sector employees, dismissed teachers and military officers on duty. It was reported that police has also sought 8 more poeple to detain under the same investigation and 2 of them were determined as they fled from Turkey.

A military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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 June 11, 2017

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