Former police chiefs, already under arrest for some 4 years, put in solitary confinement

Jailed police officers Yurt Atayün and Ömer Köse were put in solitary confinement, according to their lawyer Ömer Turanlı. In a series of tweets, Turanlı said Atayün and Köse were taken from İstanbul’s notorious Silivri Prison to Edirne and Tekirdağ prisons, respectively where both were put in solitary confinement.

Turanlı said his clients have already been under arrest for nearly four years.

Köse was the head of İstanbul police’s anti-terror department at the time of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption investigation that implicated Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his family members and his cabinet ministers while Atayün is the former holder of this post. Both police officers were earlier taken off from their jobs and put in jail.

Turkish government has previously detained the of former police chiefs including Ömer Köse who led corruption operations against the government in 2013. Former police chief Köse’s sister and son were also detained during the same wave of witch hunt.

İlyas Ünlü

Meanwhile, İlyas Ünlü, who was who was left unemployed as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup crackdown and witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement and its institutions under the rule of emergency, has died following an explosion at a fireworks factory in Niğde province.

According to a report by the pro-government Doğan news agency, an explosion at a fireworks plant in Niğde’s Kemerhisar neighborhood killed two workers while injuring several others on Saturday. Online news portal Aktif Haber reported that one of the victims, identified as İlyas Ünlu, had started working at the factory after he was left unemployed due to Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown.

Ünlü worked as an officer at the Sungurbey college until the school like 3,000 other education institutions was shuttered with a post-coup emergency decree.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2018. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “Even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.” (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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