Seven members of a Turkish family were detained in İzmir province while they were allegedly on their way to escape to Greece early on Tuesday. According to the OdaTV.com news portal media, acting on a tip-off the police has detained the family minutes before they embark on the dangerous journey to Greek islands by Aeagan Sea.
The detainees, who were accused of having alleged links with the Gülen movement, are as follows: Meryem Ç. (36), Levent Ç. (40), Filiz Ö. (46), Mustafa A. (57), Selahattin Ş. (29), Aziz T. (35), Zekeriya T. (51), Mehmet Emin Ö. (13).
Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced on April 2 that 47,155 people have been jailed, 113,260 people have been detained over alleged links with Gülen movement since coup attempt on July 15, 2016. According to information given by Minister Soylu, 10,732 of those who have been arrested are police officers, while 168 military generals and 7,463 military officers have been jailed as of April 2, 2017. Moreover, Minister Soylu has said that 2,575 judges and prosecutors, and 208 governors or other public administrators have been imprisoned. The number of jailed civilians, including handicapped people, housewives and elders, is 26,177.
The 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect. The Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to the Gülen movement. A total of 7,317 academics were also purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the coup attempt.
Gülen movement has been inspired by the US-based Turkish Muslim intellectual Fethullah Gülen who has been advocating science education, interfaith and intercultural dialogue and community contribution. The movement promotes a moderate version of Islam with a heavy emphasis on public service. The movement runs schools and universities in 180 countries.
Gülen has been a vocal critic of Turkish government and Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on massive corruption in the government as well as Turkey’s aiding and abetting of radical groups in Syria. Erdoğan launched an unprecedented persecution against Gülen and his followers in December 2013 right after major corruption probe that incriminated Erdoğan’s family members.
The ruling AKP’s Islamist leaders labelled the movement as ‘FETÖ’, a terrorist organization, although Gülen, 75-year old cleric, and his followers have never advocated violence but rather remained staunchly opposed to any violence, radicalism and terror in the name of religion. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)