Turkish gov’t convicts 10, detains dozens over alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has detained 37 people across Turkey on Tuesday as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. It was reported that 14 out of 37 detainees are former military officers.

Also 13 on-duty non-commissioned military officers and a sergeant were detained on Tuesday during house raids in 12 provinces across Turkey following detention warrants issued by Tokat Chief Prosecutor’s Office for them over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Also on Tuesday, 2 former workers of a print house, İhtiyaç Akademi Yayınevi, which used to print educational materials used in the schools which were closed by Turkish government under the rule of emergency over their alleged affiliation to the Gülen movement, were detained by police. It was claimed that two detainees have used mobile phone messaging application ByLock. These people were reportedly detained after Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 3 people.

Moreover, on Tuesday, Turkish courts have handed prison sentences to 10 people over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Convicts, who were handed prison sentences from 1 to 9 years according to the court ruling, include 3 teachers, an academic and a former police officer.

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 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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