Turkish gov’t detained 62,402 people over alleged links to Gülen movement in 2017

Turkish security forces detained a total of 62,402 people in 2017 over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday based on data released by the Interior Ministry.

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 Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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.

Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.

According to Ministry of Justice data, there are currently 384 prisons with a capacity of 207,279 in Turkey; however, the total number of inmates was 228,983 as of October 2017.

The Turkish Ministry of Justice plans to build 228 new prisons with a capacity of 137,687 in the next five years. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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