Turkey orders detention of 12 over Gülen links

Ankara prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 12 people due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group accused by the Turkish government of “terrorist activities,” the Velev news website reported on Friday.

Police operations are underway in three provinces to capture the individuals, who are suspected of involvement in the movement, the report said.

The chief public prosecutor’s office cited as evidence digital materials as well as witness testimony.

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.

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