Turkey detains 21 more teachers over coup charges

At least 21 teachers who were earlier dismissed from their jobs were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, basing on alleged use of mobile phone application ByLock on Tuesday. Detention warrants were issued for 36 teaches while police have yet to locate he remaining 15.

Turkish authorities believe ByLock is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The detainees were reportedly dismissed from profession with recent decrees issued by Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup attempt.


Meanwhile, Orhan Erdemli, a lawyer who represented Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for many years, was detained in İstanbul on Wednesday. Many family members and people close to Gülen have also been arrested since a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the coup “a great gift of God” and pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

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.

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, Over 91,600 people were detained, 45,012 people were jailed with pre-trial arrest due to their alleged links to the movement. (The SCF with turkeypurge.com) Feb. 22, 2017


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