Turkish gov’t detains 1,128 people over alleged Gülen links in a week

Turkish government has detained 1,128 people over their alleged links with the Gülen movement between May 22-29, 2017, according to statistics shared by Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday.

In the same week, the government has also launched investigations about 1,342 social media accounts which allegedly propagating terrorism and insulting statesmen. The users of 132 of these social media accounts have been determined and 55 of them were detained by police forces, stated the Turkish Interior Ministry.

According to the same written statement, between 22 and 29 May, 46 members of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party were killed and 8 PKK militants surrendered to Turkish security forces. Also, 43 members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were caught in the same week.

Meanwhile, three lawyers were detained by police and two of them were arrested by a Batman court over their alleged links to Gülen movement on Monday basing on their alleged use of ByLock, a mobilephone application. The third lawyer was released by the court with judicial probe.

Also Colonel Alaaddin Eşsiz, garrison commander of Osmaniye’s Kadirli district was also detained over his alleged links with the Gülen movement on Monday. Col. Eşsiz was transferred to Ankara where the prosecutor office issued an arrest warrant about him.

Moreover, on Monday, a former professor at Kayseri’s Erciyes University, Y.C. was detained along with his father O.C., in Turkey’s border province of Edirne. 41-year-old professor who was earlier dismissed from his post over alleged ties to the Gülen movement and his 65-years-old father were caught by gendarmerie forces near the Greek border in Edirne.

According to state-run Anadolu news agency, the pair was set to illegally enter Greece, fearing from further persecution in Turkey. Y.C. is among thousands of academics the government put travel on passports in order to prevent them from escaping its crackdown.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 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 them in custody.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

May 30, 2017


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