Turkey Purge: 1601 people detained, 895 people jailed over alleged Gülen links across Turkey in past 15 days

Turkish government has continued its massive post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement  and the citizens from Turkey’s Kurdish minority as Turkish police has detained at least 1,601 people and Turkish courts have arrested at least 895 people across Turkey between June 1-14, 2017, according to the data compiled by turkeypurge.com on Thursday.

On June 1, four people were detained at an Ankara pastry shop while they were allegedly making plans to escape the government crackdown. Ankara police raided a bakery in Etimesgut district where two lawyers, a doctor and a university student were met before they hit the road for illegal exit from Turkey, according to state-run Anadolu news agency. Police reportedly seized during the raid TL 22,000 [$6,500], passport size photos and IDs that do not belong to the detainees.

On June 1, a video footage showed the moment Turkish police fired hundreds of plastic bullets at Veli Saçılık, a former political prisoner and public servant who was sacked by a government decree in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. In the 43-second video, viewed hundreds of times on Twitter, Saçılık was initially assaulted by a group of police officers and then “shot with hundreds of plastic bullets” for publicly protesting his dismissal under post-coup emergency rule. After being hit by the bullets, Saçılık is seen falling to the ground and crawling away.

On June 1, Turkish fashion designer Barbaros Şansal was given a suspended prison sentence of 6 months, 20 days on charges of “insulting Turkish nation” with a video he posted on social media on the New Year’s Eve.

On June 2, Zekeriya Güzüpek, former head of the now-closed pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA) and Mehmet Ali Ertaş, editor for DİHA’s Kurdish service were detained by police in Diyarbakır province, according to the Evrensel daily.

On June 2, a 9-year-old girl was allegedly seperated from her foster family as the adoptive father is being under investigation over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 2, Elif Aslaner, a religious education teacher, was detained hours after she gave birth to a baby at a private hospital in Bursa, due to her alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 2, at least 10 people were detained near Turkey’s Greek border region in Edirne’s Meric district after they unsuccessfully attempted to illegally cross the border. The detainees included four teachers, a doctor and a sergeant who were all dismissed from their jobs over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 2, six students and graduates of the Eskisehir-based Anadolu University`s Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 2, seven people including partners, executives and workers of a dialysis center in the central province of Aksaray were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Police carried out operations in Aksaray, Mersin and Niğde provinces to the detain suspects.  Twenty-nine $1 bills were confiscated as terror evidence during a raid on the center. Detainees are accused of having made donations to the movement.

On June 2, Turkish police detained Prof. Dr. Mehmet Kanter, father of NBA Oklahoma City Thunder player Enes Kanter, who the government seeks to arrest over links to the Gülen movement, the Birgün daily reported.

On June 2, an Adana court handed down a suspended sentence to visually impaired journalist Cüneyt Arat for praising Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen movement he inspired.

On June 2, a Sivas prosecutor issued detention warrants for 13 dentists in 7 provinces as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

On June 3, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s chief advisor was reportedly detained in Ankara as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 3, fourteen people were detained as part of a Samsun-based investigation into the Gülen movement with similar accusations. Accused of using ByLock mobile application or depositing now-defunct Bank Asya, the suspects were caught during simultaneous police raids in Samsun and Ankara provinces. Detainees included a lawyer, 12 teachers and a public servant who were earlier dismissed from their jobs.

On June 3, Nazlı N. Mert was detained by police and taken to a police station just a few hours after she gave birth to a baby at Lokman Hekim Hospital in Ankara’s Etlik neighborhood as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 4, İlker Yücel, editor-in-chief of the Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the ultra-nationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, was arrested by a court after being detained in Turkey’s Iğdır province. He was later released by the same court.

On June 4, at least 40 people were detained in Rize province as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Accused of using ByLock smartphone application, the detainees included public servants, small business owners and businessmen working in private sector. ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among the alleged  followers of the Gülen movement.

On June 4, at least 20 women were detained as part of a Çorum-based investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 5, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced  that at least 81 people were detained over the past week on charges of making propaganda on social media on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The ministry said investigations were launched against 395 social media users while only 81 of them were detained over the past week.

On June 5, a total of 920 people were detained across Turkey as part of investigations into the Gülen movement over the past week. In a written statement, Interior Ministry said 920 were detained over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on between May 29 and June 5.

On June 5, Esra Demir, a 31-year-old teacher, was reportedly detained just hours after she gave birth to a baby at a Batman hospital and taken to a police station as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 5, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has released the list of 130 people who are currently abroad including Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen and two deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who will be stripped of citizenship if they do not return to the country within three months. The list was published in the Monday version of the Official Gazette.

On June 5, An Hatay court ruled for the arrest of Muhammet Furkan Sökmen, a Turkish national who was forcibly returned from Myanmar to Turkey despite his cries for help on social media. Sökmen was working for two schools established by the Gülen movement in Myanmar.

On June 6, Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for 47 people working at Turkey’s education and energy ministries over alleged links to the Gülen movement. Thirty of the individuals work for the Education Ministry, while 17 work at the Transportation Ministry, according to Turkish media reports.

On June 6, an indictment drafted by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office sought two consecutive life sentences for 13 journalists, including prominent Turkish journalists and pop singer/columnist Atilla Taş on coup charges. The journalists named in the indictment are National Party (UP) leader and Türk Solu weekly columnist Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan Acar, Abdullah Kılıç, Oğuz Usluer, Hüseyin Aydın, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Seyit Kılıç, Yetkin Yıldız, Ali Akkuş and famous pop singer Taş. The indictment revealed that the suspects are accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” due to their stories, critical tweets and retweets.

On June 6, the Evrensel daily’s managing editor Çağrı Sarı and former license owner Arif Koşar were given suspended 5-month sentences on charges related to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Article 301 criminalizes denigration of the Turkish nation, the Turkish state, the Turkish Parliament, the government of the Republic of Turkey and the legal institutions of the state. The journalists were given the prison sentences by the İstanbul 2nd Penal Court of First Instance on Tuesday due to an article published in the daily on March 15, 2016 that was titled: “Police open fire on public in Nusaybin: 3 injured.”

On June 6, twelve teachers were detained in a Malatya-based investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 7, a Kastamonu-based university student, identified as M.A., received a 6-years-and-3-months prison term over terror charges. Under arrest for some time over his use of ByLock mobile application, M.A. was sentenced for alleged membership to the Gülen movement.

On June 7, seventy-three teachers, who were earlier dismissed from their jobs, were detained in an İstanbul-based investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 7, detention warrants were issued for 128 people as part of an investigation into Kaynak Holding, an İstanbul-based business conglomerate the government seized in late 2015. An İstanbul prosecutor issued detention warrants for 128 executives at 19 companies, 1 foundation and 1 association under Kaynak Holding.

On June 8, 11 employess of various public banks were detained in Ankara-based investigation into the Gülen movement.

On June 8, the former rector of Antalya’s Akdeniz University between 2008 and 2015, Professor Dr. İsrafil Kurtcephe was put in pre-trial detention over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 8, former co-Chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ was handed down a prison sentence of one year for “publicly insulting the government of Turkey.” The Adana 11th Penal Court of First Instance convicted Yüksekdağ for a speech she made during a press statement in Adana on Oct. 12, 2015. Yüksekdağ, who has been in prison since November 2016, refused to participate in the court hearing by a video system.

On June 8, an İstanbul prosecutor submitted an indictment seeking three consecutive life sentences for İstanbul’s former Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and former Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 8, under arrest for more than 8 months over coup charges, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, the leader of the National Party (UP) and a columnist for the Türk Solu weekly magazine was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail for allegedly insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On June 9, at least 11 people have been detained as part of a Baıikesir-based investigation into the Gülen movement. The detainees included 5 academics from the Balıkesir University, 2 imams, 1 security personnel, 2 construction workers and 1 retired guard.

On June 9, French photojournalist Mathias Depardon, who was detained on May 8 in Turkey, was deported to France.

On June 9, Taner Kılıç, a lawyer and the chairman of Amnesty International Turkey’s board, was arrested together with 22 lawyers by an İzmir court as part of an investigation into Turkey’s the Gülen movement.

On June 10, ten people, including three members of the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), were sentenced to 11 months, 20 days in prison for allegedly insulting President Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet daily reported.

On June 10, a high criminal court in the southern province of Adana applied to Turkey’s Justice Ministry demanding the revocation of the Turkish citizenship of journalist Bilal Öğütçü over terror charges. The Adana representative of the Zaman newspaper and the Cihan news agency until they were shut down by the government in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Öğütçü faces 15 years in prison on accusation of membership to the Gülen movement.

On June 11, detained in the southern province of Isparta as part of a post-coup investigation, a woman, identified with initials Ö.A., has been transferred to a prison in Siirt, an eastern province 1,291 kilometers away from home. According to Aktif Haber online news portal, Ö.A. was taken into custody in Isparta before she was transferred to Siirt for interrogation.

On June 11, at least 39 civilians, including doctors, imams and housewives, were detained by police in 6 major Turkish provinces over alleged links to the Gülen movement. In Samsun, 15 teachers, 1 doctor, 1 shopkeeper and 1 former employee of now-closed Gülen movement-affiliated high school, were detained over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock.

On June 11, a Turkish health worker was given 6 years, 6 months and 22 days prison sentence over alleged membership to the Gülen movement.

On June 12, Turkish painter Zehra Doğan was sent to Diyarbakır Prison several months after a court handed down a prison sentence of two years, nine months, 22 days for depicting the destruction caused by military operations carried out in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province. Doğan was reportedly stopped by police on the Diyarbakır-Mardin highway and taken to Diyarbakır Prison because of an outstanding prison sentence given to her on March 5, 2016. The Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court handed down the sentence to Doğan on charges that she drew Turkish flags on buildings destroyed by Turkish forces.

On June 12, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced that at least 38 people were detained over the past week on charges of making propaganda on social media on behalf of the Gülen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The ministry said investigations were launched against 391 social media users while only 48 of them were detained on June 5-12.

On June 12, a total of 386 people were detained across Turkey as part of investigations into the Gülen movement. In a written statement, Interior Ministry said 386 were detained over their alleged links to the Gülen movement  between June 5-12, 2017.

On June 13, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 42 people working at Turkey’s Interior Ministry over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On June 14, an İstanbul court sentenced main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy and a former journalist Enis Berberoğlu to 25 years in prison over a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks. A report in Cumhuriyet daily had claimed in May 2015 that MİT trucks were stopped by gendarmerie in the southern Turkey in early 2014 while carrying weapons and ammunition to Syria. When the story first broke out in 2015, it produced a political storm in Turkey about the role of Turkish spy agency in arming of the rebel factions in Syria and prompted an investigation into Berberoğlu along with Cumhuriyet editors. The court sentenced Berberoğlu to 25 years in jail for revealing “information that was supposed to stay secret,” as he was accused of leaking footage of the MİT trucks in question to the Cumhuriyet editors. The court ruled to arrest Berberoglu immediately after the hearing.

On June 14, the Kayseri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 14 businessmen as part of an investigation targeting people linked to the Gülen movement.

On June 14, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 189 lawyers and police detained 78 of them in the same day as part of an investigation targeting people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement.

A military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip 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.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 15, 2017

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