Turkish authorities order detention of 11 accountants for links to Gülen movement

Turkish authorities on Wednesday ordered the detention of 11 accountants due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for nine people in Sakarya, and two in Kocaeli. All the suspects were detained the by police.

The suspects were accused of staying at a now-shuttered hotel linked to the movement and having bank accounts at the now-closed Bank Asya, previously one of Turkey’s largest commercial banks. They were also accused of donating to charity organizations linked to the movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim 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 an abortive putsch that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The Turkish government accepted such daily activities as having an account at or depositing money in a Gülen movement-affiliated bank, working at any institution linked to the movement or subscribing to certain newspapers and magazines as benchmarks for identifying and arresting tens of thousands alleged members of the movement on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

According to a statement from the Turkish interior minister, a total of 332,884 people have been detained, of whom 101,000 were arrested and jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

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