Turkey’s veteran pollster Özer Sencar detained by police

Professor Özer Sencar

Turkish political observer, prominent pollster and owner of the MetroPoll polling company Professor Özer Sencar was detained by police on Saturday.

“Özer Sencar was taken into custody. We have yet to know the reason for detention. We hope the process to be resolved soon. Respectfully announced to the public on behalf of him. (His family),” the pollster’s Twitter account said.

Sencar was also briefly detained in September, 2016 over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Sencar is known for his critical views of both the Gülen movement and the government.

MetroPoll is considered one of the few independent public survey companies in Turkey.

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.

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.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 4, 2017

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