Turkey’s Justice Minister Bozdağ says 50,504 arrested since coup attempt

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Friday that since a controversial coup attempt last July, 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 are the subject of legal proceedings for their alleged involvement in the organization of the coup, the Diken news website reported.

While 48,731 were released on judicial probation without prior arrest, 8,551 were released on judicial probation following their arrest.

“A total of 615 people are in detention, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people and 433 were released without judicial probation,” said Bozdağ.

Meanwhile, Turkish governmen’s massive post-coup witch hunt targetin the alleged members of the Gülen movement is continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves being hunted down and taken into custody. At least 109 people were detained, while 21 were arrested over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Saturday.

Turkish police carried out the operations in Şanlıurfa, Siirt, Tekirdağ, Mersin and Rize provinces of Turkey. Among the arrestees are businessmen, engineers, nurses, business professionals, and former public servants who were dismissed from their posts as part of the government crackdown against the Gülen movement. 21 people were also put in pre-trial arrest on Saturday over their alleged links to the movement.

Also, on Friday, a total of fifty-seven civilians were detained as part of ongoing operations targeting the followers of the Gülen movement due to their use of a smart phone application known as ByLock. Police carried out opertaions in 32 districts of İstanbul.

Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among the alleged 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 controversial coup attempt last July.

Some of the detainees were reportedly dismissed from profession with recent decrees issued by Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 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. (SCF with turkeypurge.com & turkishminute.com) July 9, 2017

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