A total of 651 people were detained in operations targeting the Gülen movement over the past week, according to a statement from Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday. The detentions and arrests took place between Apr 10-17.
On Monday, also, the state-run broadcasting company TRT’s former 20 personnel were arrested by an Ankara court, while the same court has decided to release TRT’s 2 personnel with the condition of judicial probe. 22 out of 38 TRT personnel, who were previously dismissed and targeted by an arrest warrant issued by Ankara Prosecutor Office, were detained on April 7, 2017.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry’s statement further revealed that 711 people were detained for allegedly aiding or abetting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the past week. 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.”
Critics often blast the government for imprisoning hundreds of thousands of people over broad terror charges.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement calling it as a terrorist organization. The movement rejects the accusations.
In the meantime, the government has also stepped up its pressure against Kurdish minority in what many say a tactical move to garner nationalist votes in the Apr 16 referendum. A “Yes” vote in the referendum has paved the way for a shift from the current parliamentary system to executive presidency, giving Erdoğan sweeping powers. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) April 18, 2017