Turkish gov’t detains 22 people over alleged exam fraud

The Turkish government on Wednesday detained 22 people across Turkey for alleged involvement in police exam fraud and their suspected links to the Gülen movement.

The detainees are accused of leaking the police inspector examination to police officers allegedly affiliated with the movement ahead of the 2011 test.

Police detained the suspects during operations in 29 provinces, including the capital Ankara, after Ankara prosecutors issued detention warrants for 34 people.

Meanwhile, police raided several houses in Eskişehir province where alleged followers of the Gülen movement are thought to be residing, and detained 8 people.

Moreover, according to a social media user named Fatih Yaman, a 20-year-old Celal Bayar University student, Nuran Gelen, has been held in a prison in Manisa province for almost fourteen months over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Gelen was detained by Turkish police during a graduation ceremony in July 2017 at Celal Bayar University campus and then put in pre-trial detention on terror and coup charges in Manisa. Gelen’s fourth trial will begin on July 30, 2018.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey have been the subject of legal proceedings in the last two years on charges of membership in the Gülen movement since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Turkish Justice Ministry official told a symposium on July 19, 2018.

“Legal proceedings have been carried out against 445,000 members of this organisation,” Turkey’s pro-government Islamist news agency İLKHA quoted Turkish Justice Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ömer Faruk Aydıner as saying.

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 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 about 170,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

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