Professor detained over alleged Gülen links while working at excavation site

Prof. Dr. Abdusselam Uluçam was round up at Hasankeyf excavation area and taken to Batman police station for interrogation on Saturday.

Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam Uluçam, former rector of the Batman University and the head of the excavation team at Hasankeyf’s historical area, was detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement while he on duty inspecting the work on the ground on Saturday.

Uluçam was round up at Hasankeyf excavation area and taken to Batman police station for interrogation on Saturday.

Hasankeyf is a 12,000-year-old ancient settlement, located in Turkey’s eastern province of Batman, that survived 7 empires including Byzantines, Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans. The historic town is expected to be submerged under 200 feet of water once a now-constructed hydroelectric Ilısu Dam is completed.

Meanwhile, Alaattin A. son of Fethullah Gülen’s nephew was arrested over alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday. Detained in western province of Balıkesir, Alaattin A is accused of having used ByLock, a controversial messaging app that Turkish prosecutors claim to be the top communication tool among the alleged Gülen followers. Alaattin A. has joined Gülen’s many other relatives previously arrested as part of investigations into the movement after a Balıkesir court sent him into jail.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Also, on Saturday, 35 people were detained by police over their alleged use of ByLock in Şanlıurfa province. It was reported that there are engineers, nurses and public servants who were dismissed from their posts by government decrees under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

With the allegations of using ByLock, 17 people were also detained by police in Nevşehir province. Following the Nevşehir Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued arrest warrants for 21 people over their alleged use of ByLock, police teams raided 21 houses in the province on Saturday. It was reported that there are a teacher, an imam and shopkeepers among the detainees.

In Tekirdağ province, police teams have also detained 9 people, who have worked for the courts in the province, over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Saturday.

Moreover, 22 people were detained by police on Saturday in Tarsus district of Mersin province following Tarsus Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued arrest warrants for 29 people over their alleged use of ByLock.

In the same day, 11 people were detained in Rize province following the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in the province has issued arrest warrants over their alleged use of ByLock. It was reported that there are dismissed and on duty public servants among the detainees beside of private sector employees.

Meanwhile, 12 out of 16 people, who were detained by police in Kayseri province over their alleged use of ByLock, were arrested by a Kayseri court on Saturday. Four people were released by the court with judicial probe.  Thus, the number of arrestees has reached to 57 in the framework of recently launched investigation targeting alleged followers of the Gülen movement in the province. Kayseri Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued arrest warrants for 106 people and 72 of them were detained by police.

Moreover, detained as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement in mid-August 2016,  I.B., a 67-year-old shopkeeper in Balıkesir’s Dursunbey district, has been under arrest for 11 months.

It was reported that I.B. was detained by police for having donated a land he inherited from his father to a private student dormitory which was affiliated to the Gülen movement. A court overseeing his case has put him in pre-trial arrest in Balıkesir’s Kepsut prison where he has been held since then over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. According to a tip submitted to magduriyetler.com online portal, I.B. requested, to no avail, trial without arrest underlining that his body is 50-percent paralysed.

Turkey survived a controversial 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.

Fethullah 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 9, 2017

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