Nine newly graduated lawyers detained over Gülen links in İstanbul-based operation

Nine lawyers who recently graduated from law school have been detained in an İstanbul-based operation targeting alleged followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group accused by the government of “terrorist” activities, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Kronos news website.

The young lawyers were detained in raids across seven provinces on allegations that they communicated with members of the Gülen movement through a special phone line.

The lawyers are also accused of preparing for exams together in apartments run by the Gülen movement, which is considered evidence by Turkish judicial authorities for membership in the Gülen movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim 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. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch in July 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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