Dozens of people from various professions new victims of Turkey’s post-coup witch hunt

Dozens of people from various professions and provinces in Turkey were detained or arrested as part of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

İstanbul anti-terror police, on Thursday, detained 10 people who work for Türk Telekom, a Turkish telecommunication company, following the arrest warrant issued by an İstanbul prosecutor against 19 Turk Telekom personnel over their alleged links with the Gülen movement. The prosecutor has accused 19 people of depositing their own money to Bank Asya, a government closed private lender affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Also on Thursday, 9 military officers were arrested by a Tekirdağ court with accusation of being members of Gülen movement’s so called “crypto structure” in Turkish military. 57 out of 89 military officers, who were detained by police following Tekirdağ prosecutor office’s arrest warrants against them on base of being the members of Gülen movement’s alleged “crypto structure”, were transferred to Tekirdağ court with the demand of arrest. The court decided to arrest 9 of the detainees as it release 48 of them with judicial probation. The number of people, who were arrested under the witch hunt called “crypto structure,” has reached to 100.

Meanwhile, fourteen teachers were detained in a Manisa-based investigation into the Gülen movement. The detainees included those who were earlier dismissed from their jobs under post-coup emergency rule on Thursday.

It was also reported that 9 teachers were put in pre-trial arrest over similar charges in a separate witch-hunt campaign in Denizli province on Wednesday.

Also, 3 dismissed police chiefs and a university students were detained near Turkey’s Kapıkule border gate with Bulgaria on Wednesday. The four people were detained in a military zone in Turkish part while they were reportedly on their way to escape Turkey’s post-coup witch hunt to Bulgaria. It is reported that the detainees had outstanding arrests warrants earlier issued against them over their alleged links with the Gülen movement.

Two doctors, a nurse and a former public servant were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison each on accusation of membership to the Gülen movement on Wednesday. Doctors H.K. and S.Y., nurse A.A. and the dismissed civil servant S.Y. were given 6 years plus 3 months jail term as part of a Kayseri-based investigation into the movement.

Meanwhile, another dismissed medical worker was sentenced to 10 years in jail over the same charge in Kırşehir province the same day.

Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started targeting US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen movement openly after the corruption was exposed in December 2013 that incriminated the president and his family members, and later accused Gülen and the movement of being behind the failed coup of July 15, 2016 that he himself called as “gift from the God.”

Fethullah Gülen and the movement, however, rejected the accusations and has called for an independent international commission to be set up to investigate the coup attempt. The Turkish government has failed to present any evidence linking the movement to the abortive coup or any violence.

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.

May 25, 2017

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