Turkish gov’t detained 664 people over alleged links to Gülen movement in a week

At least 664 people were detained as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement over the past week. In a written statement on Monday, the Turkish  Interior Ministry has announced that 664 people were rounded up in operations targeting the Gülen movement between November 27 and December 4, 2017.

Morover, the statement has said that Turkish security units have started investigations about 433 social media account which propagating on the behalf of alleged terror organisations and legal processes have been launched for 175 of them.

Meanwhile, 64 people suspects have been detained by Turkish government in an investigation into alleged ties between Turkish Air Force personnel and the Gülen movement, a judicial official told to state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday.

On Thursday last week, prosecutors in the central province of Eskişehir issued detention warrants for 66 military officers including fighter pilots, all but two of who have been detained in police raids across Turkey.

An İstanbul court has decided to arrest a total of 85 military officers for pr-trial imprisonment over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Saturday. It was reported that while 10 military officers were released with judicial probe, the interrogations of 153 detained military officers have been continuing at İstanbul Police Department. The military officers were detained as part of an investigation carried out by the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempton 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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