Turkish border forces detain 2 teachers over Gülen links while trying to flee to Greece

The Greek-Turkish border line right on the bridge over the river Evros, in Thrace region. The grey line on the road marks the exact point where the two countries meet.

Turkish border security forces on Thursday detained two teachers, identified as Mustafa K. and Tarık T., in the border zone of Edirne province over their alleged links to the Gülen movement as they were allegedly trying to flee to Greece.

Both teachers are reportedly wanted as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

In related news, three military judges were dismissed from their posts over alleged links to the Gülen movement, according to a decision published in Official Gazette (Resmi Gazete) on Thursday.

The State of Emergency Commission for Military Judges at the Turkish Defence Ministry ruled to dismiss Judge Bayram Ayazma and Judge Özkan Doğdu from Turkish Air Forces Command and Judge Mehmet Öztürün from the Turkish Land Forces Command. The commission is reportedly continuing to assess other military judges to determine whether or not they will be dismissed.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

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