Turkey detains and arrests dozens over alleged links to Gülen movement on Wednesday

Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement has continued on Wednesday with dozens of new detentions and arrests in number of provinces of Turkey.

Police has detained 28 people in Kayseri province on Wednesday over their alleged use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock following detention warrants were issued by provincial prosecutor’s office for 30 people.

Six people, including deputy mayor of İstanbul’s Eyüp district M.İ., were also detained by police on Wednesday in İstanbul province over their alleged use of ByLock. It was reported that there is also a married couple among the detainees.

Meanwhile, 21 of 31 people, who were detained in 18 provinces on August 1, 2017, in a Balıkesir-based investigation as part of government’s witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, were arrested by a local court on Wednesday. The local court has released 10 people with judicial probation. It was reported that police teams have been searching 22 more people to detain.

In Manisa province, a local court arrested 9 of 15 people who were detained by police on August 2, 2017, on Wedenesday over their alleged use of ByLock. It was reported that police teams have still been searching 3 people to detain.

A Sakarya court has also arrested 7 of 11 people who were detained by police over their alleged use of ByLock. The same court has released 4 people with judicial probation.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock indicates membership in the 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 last year.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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