Turkish authorities arrest 13 women on alleged Gülen links

A total of 13 women, including students and teachers, were arrested on Tuesday in southern Antalya province for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.

The women were among 37 people who had been detained on May 17. The suspects were accused of being in communication with other members of the movement and of tutoring younger students whose parents were in prison for links to the movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Turkish authorities detained at least 75 female students and teachers on Gülen links in the first three weeks of May.

According to a statement from the Turkish interior minister, a total of 319,587 people have been detained while 99,962 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

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