Turkish government seizes 8 companies in Kahramanmaraş over alleged Gülen links

Turkish government has seized 8 more companies in Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş province as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Trustees were appointed by government to 8 companies that were owned by a businessman, who has been under investigation over his alleged links to the movement. The companies are operating in food, automotive, mining, construction and telecommunication sectors.

The Turkish government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

Then Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on July 17 that the government seized 966 companies from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement. “In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş, speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara.

Assets of seized companies were announced to be more than $12 billion by then Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli in May.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Among the detainees are some 560 children aged between 0 to 6. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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