Turkey orders detention of 222 people over Gülen links in one day

Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 222 people, including military members, as part of a massive post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the detention of 50 members of the Gendarmerie General Command and 55 others over Gülen links.

They were also accused of using a smart phone application known as ByLock, a messaging service similar to WhatsApp, Signal, Skype and Blackberry messenger.

A report published by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) revealed the absurd pretexts used by prosecutors to indict suspects and judges to jail innocent people who are alleged to have been affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, police in İzmir on Tuesday conducted operations against followers of the Gülen movement and apprehended 21 people who were allegedly in hiding.

In Kırıkkale the prosecutor’s office issued detention warrants for 30 military personnel over Gülen links, after which the police raided houses in 11 provinces.

The Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s office also issued detention warrants for 50 people as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

Thirty-two of the suspects were members of the military.

The prosecutor’s offices of two other provinces, Muğla and Kocaeli, ordered the detention of 15 and 22 military personnel, respectively, Reuters reported.

The Turkish courts have arrested around 80,000 people on charges of membership in the movement since the failed coup. The government dismissed some 140,000 civil servants and thousands of pro-NATO officers by decree, and more than 600,000 people were investigated on terrorism charges, mostly on accusations of links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

The crackdown has been widely criticized by rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, saying the coup was being used a pretext to muzzle dissent. (SCF, turkishminute.com)

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