Turkish gov’t detains 17 non-commissioned military officers over alleged Gülen links

Arrested officer

Turkish government has detained 10 non-commissioned military officers in three provinces on Tuesday  in a Konya-based investigation as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

The detentions in Konya, Ankara and Hakkari provinces were followed the warrants issued by Konya Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 10 non-commissioned military officers including 8 suspect who are on their active duties.

Also in a Malatya-based investigation 7 non-commissioned military officers, who are on their active duties, were detained in 6 provinces over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a prospective judge, known by his initials M.G., has been put in pretrial detention after he was arrested while on way to escape to Greece. An arrest warrant was earlier issued against M.G. as part of an Ankara-based investigation into the Gülen movement and law enforcement rounded him up as he was located near Greek border on Tuesday.

Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled thousands of passports in the aftermath of the failed putsch.

An Ankara court has arrested 19 former police officers and sent them to prison over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Wednesday. Police had detained 63 people in 19 provinces following the detention warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 100 former police officers on October 14 over their alleged use of ByLock mobile phone messaging application.

Moreover, 57 out of 73 people, who were detained over their alleged use of ByLock on October 3, 2017, were arrested by an İstanbul court on Wednesday. It was reported that 9 suspects were released by prosecutor’s office while 7 of them were released by the court on judicial probation. İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office had issued detention warrants for 112 people who used to work for 18 municipalities in İstanbul until they were dismissed by government decrees under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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. 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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