Turkey detains 585 people over Gülen links in past week

Turkish police detained 585 people between Nov. 19 and Nov. 26 as part of its post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Aksaray Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday issued detention warrants for seven people who were dismissed from military schools over Gülen links. Five of them have been detained by police thus far.

Also 11 people were detained on Monday in Konya over their alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement. The Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 50 suspects on Nov. 20.

An Ankara court on Monday arrested five Health Ministry staff members on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had issued detention warrants for 32 Health Ministry workers over Gülen links, nine of whom were detained by police. The remaining four were released on probation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, the Turkish government launched a witch-hunt targeting the group following the abortive putsch.

Since then, some 140,000 public servants have been dismissed by government decrees and more than 600,000 people investigated on terrorism charges.

The European Commission said in a report on April 17 that since the introduction of a now-ended state of emergency on July 20, 2016, over 150,000 people were taken into custody and 78,000 were arrested.


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