On Women’s Day, Turkey jails 12 female teachers over coup charges

Kayseri court ruled on the arrest of 12 female teachers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on March 8, the International Women’s Day.

A Kayseri court ruled on the arrest of 12 female teachers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of to be behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, on Wednesday, the International Women’s Day.

Twenty-one female teachers were referred to court with arrest request on Tuesday. While 12 of them were arrested, the remaining eight were released on judicial control on Wednesday. The suspects are accused of using ByLock mobile application.

Meanwhile, a total of 104 suspects including professors and personnel at Mustafa Kemal University (MKÜ) were detained in Hatay-based operation against the Gülen movement. Police carried out operations to round up 104 people in 11 cities: Hatay, İstanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep, Manisa, Adana, Antalya, Isparta, Batman, Konya and Kahramanmaraş. The detainees are accused of using ByLock mobile application, which the government claims to be the top communication tool among the followers of the movement.

Also, 31 employees from the Eskişehir-based Anadolu University including professors were detained on Wednesday due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Some of the detainees had already been removed from their posts through government decrees.

On the other hand, as part of a Konya-based investigation in the framework of a post-coup witch hunt campaign, prosecutors have issued detention warrants for a total of 142 people across 32 provinces due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement. The individuals for whom detention warrants have been issued are accused of using smart phone application ByLock.

Turkish government claims ByLock mobile application is the top communication tool among the followers of the movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock. Critics blast the government for detaining thousands simply for using a mobile application.

Furthermore, at least 23 former police officers who were earlier dismissed as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, were detained on Wednesday. Police carried out operations to detain their former colleagues in 7 provinces: Adana, İstanbul, İzmir, Kayseri, Osmaniye, Antalya and Hatay.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.

A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) March 8, 2017

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