TURKEY PURGE IN PAST 30 DAYS: 2125 detained, 580 jailed, 9,103 suspended, 3,974 dismissed over coup charges

A huge cleansing of Turkey’s state and other institutions has been continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves being hunted down and taken into custody. At least 2,125 people were detained, with 580 of them put under arrest, in operations targeting the Gülen movement and Turkey’s Kurdish minority throughout April, according to data compiled by Turkeypurge.com.

The detentions, arrests and dismissals took place between April 1 and April 30.

On April 29, access to Wikipedia was blocked in Turkey as a result of “a provisional administrative order” imposed by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK).

On April 29, Turkish government issued two new state of emergency decrees, known as KHKs, dismissing 3,974 people including 484 academics from state institutions while banning “wedding match” programs on TV. 1,037 military officers, including a general from the Turkish military, 1,127 public officials from the Justice Ministry, 216 from the Ministry of Health, 56 from the Gendarmerie, 120 from the Coast Guard and 201 from the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) were dismissed, the highest figures in the new KHKs.

On April 28, at least 13 people including teachers and company executives were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Also, two teachers in the province of Bartın were given jail terms of 7 years plus 9 months and 22 days, and 7 years and 6 months respectively, as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On April 27, a Kırşehir court sentenced Bekir C., a teacher and the former local representative of the government-closed educators’ union, Aktif-Sen, to 6 years and three months in prison.

On April 26, as part of an ongoing operation launched against the Gülen movement following a failed coup on July 15, the Turkish government suspended a total of 9,103 police officers. According to the report, 2,500 of those suspended worked in İstanbul, while 1,350 were in Ankara.

On April 26, at least 803 people were detained as part of an Ankara-based investigation into the Gülen movement. Detention warrants were issued for 4,900 police officers in 53 provinces over their alleged ties to the movement. As many as 8,500 police officers were ordered to carry out simultaneous raids in 81 provinces to detain their colleagues across the country.

On April 25, at least 14 people were detained in Bolu province as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On April 25, Judges Metin Özçelik and Mustafa Başer who unsuccessfully ruled in April 2015 to release journalist Hidayet Karaca, the head of the now-closed opposition broadcaster Samanyolu TV, were sentenced to 10 years in jail each on accusation that they had abused their judicial power.

On April 23, at least seven lawyers in the Kütahya province were detained as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown.

On April 23, Kazım Kızıl, a filmmaker and photojournalist known for his documentaries on human rights violations in Turkey, was put under pre-trial detention after being detained by police while covering protests in the aftermath of an April 16 referendum in İzmir, his lawyer said.

On April 22, at least 53 people were detained as part of an İstanbul-based investigation into the Gülen movement while 22 others were put in pre-trial arrest after 3 days under detention in the western province of İzmir.

On April 22, The Kastamonu-based student dormitory principal, identified as Z.E., received a jail sentence of 6 years and 3 months for his ties to the Gülen movement.

On April 21, nine women were detained as part of an operation targeting the alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement in an operation based in the western province of İzmir.

On April 21, as part of a Kayseri-based operation, detention warrants have been issued for 25 teachers who were earlier dismissed from their positions, due to their use of a smart phone application called ByLock.

On April 20, the İstanbul 64th Penal Court of First Instance fined columnist Tuğrul Çelik TL 4,391 for “insulting” Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan in an article published by the Türk Solu daily on Oct. 25, 2015.

On April 20, Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for a total of 85 people across 23 provinces due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

On April 20, the Erzurum-based teacher, identified as Fatih G., has received a jail sentence of 6 years and 3 months for his alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

On April 20, forest engineer, identified as Savas A., received a jail sentence of 6 years and 3 months for his alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

On April 19, Meltem Oktay, a reporter from now-closed pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency, was sent to prison on charges of “disseminating terrorist propaganda” and “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”

On April 19, at least 14 executives of the Kimse Yok Mu aid organization’s local branch in Samsun province were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On April 19, as part of an investigation launched into the outlawed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Burcu Çelik was arrested by a Muş court for “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the unity of the state and nation.”

On April 19, Turkish media reported that police detained a total of 38 people in İstanbul who took part in demonstrations in protest of a decision by the Turkey’s Supreme Board of Election (YSK) to consider unstamped ballots cast in a public referendum on Sunday valid. The detainees, accused of making propaganda to question legitimacy of the referendum result, were reportedly taken to the İstanbul Police office.

An Ankara court arrested a lieutenant who was dismissed from the military and his wife for allegedly watching a video of Fethullah Gülen.

On April 19, at least 18 more Sütçü İmam University academics and personnel were detained over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On April 18, Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced that a total of 651 people were detained in operations targeting the Gülen movement between April 10-17. The statement further revealed that 711 were detained for allegedly aiding or abetting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). While 170 were taken into custody on links to the Islamic State in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the ministry said another 10 were detained for their alleged ties to the “leftist terrorist organizations.”

On April 16, Hakan T., a Kurdish civilian, was arrested by a Bursa court for wearing a T-shirt featuring an independent Kurdistan map while voting in a referendum on a switch to an executive presidency.

On April 16, A.A. and T.D., two teachers who were earlier dismissed from their posts as part of a post-coup crackdown on the Gülen movement, were taken into custody at a school in Malatya where they stopped to cast their votes in a referendum on a switch to an executive presidency.

On April 14, an indictment drafted by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office sought three consecutive life sentences for 16 people, including prominent Turkish journalists, on coup charges. The suspects mentioned in the indictment are former Zaman daily CEO Ekrem Dumanlı, former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş, Samanyolu TV Washington representative Şemsettin Efe, Zaman daily journalist Abdülkerim Balcı, Zaman former deputy editor-in-chief Mehmet Kamış, Zaman executive Faruk Kardıç, Zaman daily design director Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman brand manager Yakup Şimşek, Zaman culture and arts editor Ali Çolak, journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Emre Uslu, , Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, Professor Osman Özsoy, academic Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül and a twitter user, Tuncay Opçin. They were accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, the Turkish government and the Turkish Parliament.

On April 14, At least 16 people were detained in the western province of İzmir, including a 50-year-old hairdresser, identified as İ.D., who used to give haircut to Fethullah Gülen during 1990s.

On April 11, co-Chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ was sentenced to one year in prison for “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization.”

Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist working for the ANSA news agency, was detained during a security check in the southern province of Hatay.

Same day, an indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor sought three consecutive life sentences for 30 individuals who include journalists and executives from the now-closed Zaman daily on coup charges. The Zaman daily, which was affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, was first seized by the Turkish government in March 2016 and the closed down by a government decree in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

There are a total of 30 suspects in the indictment, 21 of whom are jailed. Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut ve Zafer Özsoy tutuklu, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyinçelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz are mentioned as suspects in the indictment.

On April 10, Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced that a total of 963 people were detained in operations targeting the Gülen movement between April 3 and 10. Also, an indictment prepared against 77 academics from the Bolu-based Abant İzzet Baysal University (AIBU) sought up to 15 years in prison each of 75 and up to 22 years for the remaining two.

On April 10, Hüeyin Korkmaz, a 40-year-old marble cutter, was arrested for insulting President Erdoğan. Korkmaz was detained after he reportedly swore at Erdoğan during the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) referendum campaign activities in Tekirdag’s Ergani district. According to Turkish media, Korkmaz grabbed a mic at the campaign bus immediately after other campaigners departed the vehicle at a local bazaar.

Moreover, at least 5 people were detained in Kütahya as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement in the same day.

On April 9, an indictment prepared against Levent Pişkin, a lawyer representing Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, revealed that he is charged with offenses including being a member of a Whatsapp group created by the party’s Istanbul organization.

Also, a Batman court handed down an arrest verdict for 25 individuals from different backgrounds including teachers, small business owners, doctors, pharmacists, military personnel and NGO workers over coup charges.

On April 8, an Ankara court ruled for the arrest of 5 executives from the two companies that used to provide food and construction materials to the government-closed education institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement.

On April 7, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 38 people working for the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on allegations that they have links to the Gülen movement.

Also, at least 25 individuals, including high-ranking military officers, were detained as part of two separate investigations into the Gülen movement. Moreover, detention warrants were issued for 12 people in a Manisa-based probe and 13 others in a Karabük-based probe. The detainees included university students, small business owners, corporate executives and high-ranking military officers.

On April 6, Diyarbakır-based Amedspor player Deniz Naki was given suspended prison sentence of 18 months and 22 days due to his social media posts that the judge in charge claimed to be a part of terrorist propaganda.

The same day, at least 28 individuals were detained as part of two separate investigations into the Gülen movement. Detention warrants were issued for 21 people in a Niğde-based probe. While 14 of them have been rounded up in Niğde and Ankara, the detainees included university students, academics, small business owners and corporate executives. They are accused of having used ByLock, a smartphone app that Turkish prosecutors claim to be top communication tool among the movement supporters.

Meanwhile, 14 others were detained in a separate investigation in İzmir’s Seferihisar district the same day.

An İstanbul court ruled that the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) takes over the administration of Hasan Gultekin Gaziantep Baklavacısı, an 8-store baklava chain. According to Turkish media, Hasan Güç, the deputy governor of Istanbul’s Kağıthane district was appointed as a trustee to run the company hereafter.

On April 6, Nismiye Güler and Zeynep Turgut, reporters for the Diyarbakir-based multilingual online news portal, Gazete Sujin, were detained by police. Two reporters were on way to cover an event in Van’s Tatvan district when police rounded them up.

On April 5, an İstanbul court ruled for the arrest of 30 lawyers as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. With the ruling, total number of imprisoned lawyers across Turkey reached to 410.

On April 4, an Ankara prosecutor has issued detention warrants for 41 employees of Turkey’s Court of Accounts due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detention warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for 41 people across seven provinces.

Also, the same day, seven teachers were detained while having a picnic at an İstanbul park over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On April 3, at least 5 people in Antalya’s Gazipaşa district were taken into custody as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. The detainees were Gazipaşa Airport’s manager C.A., a doctor at Gazipaşa State Hospital, two small business owners and a firefighter.

The same day, an Antalya court re-arrested a total of 16 individuals including journalists and police officers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement shortly after their release by another court previous week.

On April 2, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said that a total of 113,260 were detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement after July 15 coup attempt. The same day, 10 businessmen were sent to prison in Kayseri over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock. At least 16 civilians were jailed over similar charges in Manisa. ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of 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.

Also, a total of 39 people, including businessmen, housewives were arrested by an Ankara penal court of peace. At least 12 people, including one high-ranking military officer who was reportedly dismissed from Turkish military after the coup attempt, were also sent to jail over alleged links to the movement in Kahramanmaraş.

On April 1, at least 15 people the central Anatolian province of Kayseri were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. (turkeypurge.com) May 1, 2017

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