Turkish gov’t detains 1358, jails 381 over alleged coup involvement in last 15 days

A huge post coup witch hunt by Turkey’s state and other institutions is continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves being hunted down and taken into custody. At least 1358 people were detained, with 381 of them put under arrest in operations targeting the Gülen movement and Turkey’s Kurdish minority in last 15 days, according to data compiled by turkeypurge.com.

The detentions and arrests took place between March 29 and April 12.

On April 11, co-Chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ was sentenced to one year in prison for “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization.”

On April 11, Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist working for the ANSA news agency, was detained during a security check in the southern province of Hatay.

On April 11, an indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor sought three consecutive life sentences for 30 individuals who include journalists and executives from the now-closed Zaman daily on coup charges. The Zaman daily, which was affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, was first seized by the Turkish government in March 2016 and the closed down by a government decree in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

There are a total of 30 suspects in the indictment, 21 of whom are jailed. Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut ve Zafer Özsoy tutuklu, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyinçelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz are mentioned as suspects in the indictment.

On April 10, Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced that a total of 963 people were detained in operations targeting the Gülen movement between April 3 and 10.

On April 10, an indictment prepared against 77 academics from the Bolu-based Abant İzzet Baysal University (AIBU) sought up to 15 years in prison each of 75 and up to 22 years for the remaining two.

On April 10, Hüseyin Korkmaz, a 40-year-old marble cutter, was arrested for insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Korkmaz was detained after he reportedly swore at Erdoğan during Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) referendum campaign activities in Tekirdağ’s Ergani district. According to Turkish media, Korkmaz grabbed a mic at the campaign bus immediately after other campaigners departed the vehicle at a local bazaar.

On April 10, at least 5 people were detained in Kütahya as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On April 9, an indictment prepared against Levent Pişkin, a lawyer representing Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, revealed that he is charged with offenses including being a member of a Whatsapp group created by the party’s Istanbul organization.

On April 9, a Batman court handed down an arrest verdict for 25 individuals from different backgrounds including teachers, small business owners, doctors, pharmacists, military personnel and NGO workers over coup charges.

On April 8, an Ankara court ruled for the arrest of 5 executives from the two companies that used to provide food and construction materials to the government-closed education institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement.

On April 7, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 38 people working for the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on allegations that they have links to the Gülen movement.

On April 7, at least 25 individuals, including high-ranking military officers, were detained as part of two separate investigations into the Gülen movement.

According to state-run Anadolu news agency, detention warrants were issued for 12 people in a Manisa-based probe and 13 others in a Karabük-based probe. The detainees included university students, small business owners, corporate executives and high-ranking military officers.

On April 6, Diyarbakır-based Amedspor player Deniz Naki was given suspended prison sentence of 18 months and 22 days due to his social media posts that the judge in charge claimed to be a part of terrorist propaganda.

On April 6, At least 28 individuals were detained as part of two separate investigations into the Gülen movement.

Detention warrants were issued for 21 people in a Niğde-based probe. While 14 of them have been rounded up in Nigde and Ankara so far, the detainees included university students, academics, small business owners and corporate executives. They are accused of having used ByLock, a smartphone app that Turkish prosecutors claim to be top communication tool among the movement supporters.

Meanwhile, 14 others were detained in a separate investigation in Izmir’s Seferihisar district the same day.

On April 6, an Istanbul court ruled that the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) takes over the administration of Hasan Gültekin Gaziantep Baklavacısı, an 8-store baklava chain.

According to Turkish media, Hasan Güc, the deputy governor of Istanbul’s Kağıthane district was appointed as a trustee to run the company hereafter.

On April 6, Nismiye Güler and Zeynep Turgut, reporters for the Diyarbakır-based multilingual online news portal, Gazete Sujin, were detained by police. Two reporters were on way to cover an event in Van’s Tatvan district when police rounded them up.

On April 5, an İstanbul court ruled for the arrest of 30 lawyers as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. With the ruling, total number of imprisoned lawyers across Turkey reached to 400.

On April 4, an Ankara prosecutor has issued detention warrants for 41 employees of Turkey’s Court of Accounts due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detention warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for 41 people across seven provinces.

On April 4, seven teachers were detained while having a picnic at an İstanbul park over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

On April 3, at least 5 people in Antalya’s Gazipaşa district were taken into custody as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement. The detainees were Gazipaşa airport’s manager C.A., a doctor at Gazipaşa State Hospital, two small business owners and a firefighter.

On April 3, an Antalya court re-arrested a total of 16 individuals including journalists and police officers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement shortly after their release by another court previous week.

On April 2, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu that a total of 113,260 were detained as part of investigations into the Gulen movement after July 15 coup attempt.

On April 2, ten businessmen were sent to prison In Kayseri over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock.

On April 2, at least 16 civilians were jailed over similar charges in Manisa, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

On April 2, a total of 39 people, including businessmen, housewives were arrested by an Ankara penal court of peace.

On April 2, at least 12 people, including one high-ranking military officer who was reportedly dismissed from Turkish military after the coup attempt, were sent to jail over alleged links to the movement In Kahramanmaraş.

On April 1, at least 15 people the central Anatolian province of Kayseri were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

On March 31, a Turkish prosecutor issued detention warrants for 90 soldiers, including high ranking military officers, as part of an ongoing investigation into the Gülen movement.

On March 31, detention warrants were issued for at least 98 people who used to work for the government-closed Atlantik schools in Ankara, over their alleged use of ByLock mobile application.

On March 30, an İstanbul court ruled for the arrest of a total of 40 police officers over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

On March 29, Nuri Polat, a lawyer representing Meral Akşener, a former deputy and candidate for leadership of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was detained by police over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

More than 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies and 48,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. (turkeypurge.com) April 13, 2017

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