Former military officers among 40 sought on Gülen links: report

Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 40 people, among them former military officers and cadets, over their alleged links to the Gülen movement Turkish Minute reported.

Prosecutors in the capital city of Ankara issued arrest warrants for 28 military officers from the country’s Army as well as a civilian.

In a statement, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said the police carried out operations in 10 Turkish provinces and detained 22 of the 29 sought.

Separately, in Turkey’s western province of Balikesir, prosecutors issued detention warrants for 11 people, among them dismissed military school cadets and doctors.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members.

Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. Over 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors as well as 20,610 members of the armed forces were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

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