Turkey issues detention warrants for 69 military students, gives life sentences for 9 military officers

Detention warrants were issued by Ankara Chief Prosecutors’ Office on Friday for 69 military students who were allegedly assigned duties during a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Following the warrants police teams have detained at least 50 military students in operations in 25 provinces across Turkey.

In an İzmir-based investigation as part of Turkish government’s witch hunt campaign targeting Gülen movement 20 military officers who are on active duties were detained in İzmir, İstanbul, Diyarbakır and Çanakkale provinces on Friday. The suspects were detained by gendarme teams following detention warrants were issued by İzmir Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Meanwhile, 13 people were detained by police in Manisa province as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement on Friday. It was reported that the suspects were detained in Akhisar, Sarıgöl, Salihli, Turgutlu districts of Manisa.

Also in Marmaris district of Muğla province, 5 military officers, who are on active duties in Aksaz Naval Base, were detained by Turkish police over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday as part of a Kocali-based investigation.

At least 10 people were detained in 10 provinces by police teams following detention warrants issued by Uşak Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 17 people over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday. The provinces include Uşak, Denizli, İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Muş, Van, Aydın, Erzurum and Manisa. It was reported that all the suspects were once students in Uşak province and they had allegedly used ByLock smartphone messaging application.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a member of the Gülen movement and it is seen as the top communication tool among members of the movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the controversial coup attempt.

Moreover, Kırşehir High Criminal Court has given  prison sentences for 40 former police officers between 6 years and 3 months to 10 years on Friday. It was reported that 35 of sentenced police officers were already under pre-trial arrest in prisons.

In Gaziantep province, 7th High Criminal Court has given life sentences without pardon for 9 military officers including Colonel Target Çelebi over their alleged role in a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The other sentenced military officers are reported as Lieutenant Colonel Özgür Öztürk, Major Hakan Aydemir, Lieutenant Colonel Yüksel Acı, Lieutenant Colonel İnanç Asım Anıl, Major Mehmet Akif Ayhan, Captain Şamil Topal, lieutenants Kürşat Akaş and Akın Ergül.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch 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’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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!