Turkey’s Interior Ministry: 2,331 Detained Over Alleged Gülen Links In One Week

A total of 2,331 people were detained in post-coup witch hunt operations targeting the faith-based Gülen movement over the past week, according to a statement from Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday. The detentions took place between April 24 and April 30.

The ministry also stated that 238 suspects had been detained in the same period over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as 38 PKK militants were killed by security forces. The Turkish security forces conducted 579 operations against the PKK. According to the statement, 31 people were also arrested for allegedly making “terror propaganda” on social media.

Another 43 suspects were arrested in anti-ISIL operations, the statement added. Also, twenty-six suspects were arrested in connection with their alleged involvement with leftist terror organizations.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.

According to a statement by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention.

May 1, 2017

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