Turkey arrests newly married Kutlu couple over alleged Gülen links

Bride Emine Çetik and bridegroom Aykut Kutlu.

The detained bridegroom Aykut Kutlu was arrested by an Uşak court on Monday over his alleged links to the Gülen movement as his spouse Emine Çetik Kutlu’s interrogation were reportedly continuing at a police station in Banaz district of Uşak province over her alleged use of ByLock mobile phone messaging application. However, she was also arrested by court and sent to jail.

Turkish authorities consider ByLock to be the top communication tool among the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Wedding invitation card.

Turkish gendermarie teams had detained newly married Kutlu couple on their way to their wedding ceremony in Uşak’s Banaz district on Sunday. It was posted in social media accounts that bride Emine Çetik Kutlu and bridegroom Aykut Kutlu were detained by gendermarie teams as they were on their way to the Makasbaşı Wedding Hall, where their wedding ceremony to be held.

It was reported that the couple have been married on July 6, 2017 in İzmir and they have organized a wedding ceremony in Banaz at 2:00 pm on Sunday. However, the bride and bridegroom were stopped and detained by gendarmeri teams at 01:00 pm on their way to the wedding hall.

Gendarmerie teams have transferred the bride Emine Çetik Kutlu and bridegroom Aykut Kutlu with their special wedding costums to local police station. The guests in the wedding hall have waited for hours for the bride and the bridegroom to enter to the wedding hall.

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.

July 10, 2017

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