In a new wave of mass detentions, Turkish police on Wednesday detained 32 people for alleged links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group accused by the government of “terrorist activities.”
Carried out in 10 provinces, the police raids were announced on social media by Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya.
Yerlikaya said the detainees included four people who stayed at addresses where they were not registered to avoid being captured as well as two landlords who rented these places out to them.
Eleven people were targeted for involvement in the movement’s alleged infiltration of military institutions, while five were detained due to their account transactions at Bank Asya, which was shut down by a government decree over its affiliation with the group.
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 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.