Five more dismissed judges jailed over coup charges in Turkey

Five judges who were dismissed from profession with decrees issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, were arrested on Thursday.

According to Cumhuriyet daily, the five judges, who were detained on Friday, testified to a court in Antalya, which handed down the arrest decision for “coup plotting” and “membership in a terrorist organization,” in reference to the Gülen movement. Detention warrants had been issued for the judges over their alleged links to the movement.

Over 145,000 people, including over 4,272 judges and prosecutors, have been purged from state jobs in Turkey due to their alleged ties with the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government also accuses of being behind the failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Turkey survived a failed military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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 May 11, 2017

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