Turkish gov’t detains 32 people over alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has detained 32 people across Turkey on Tuesday as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

The government has detained 10 people, including retired and active military officers, and doctors on Tuesday in police raids in 17 provinces in a Sivas-based investigation targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. It was reported that the detentions came following the detention warrants issued by Sivas Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 22 people over their alleged Gülen links.

Meanwhile, Turkish police have detained 17 people on Tuesday in an Adıyaman-based investigation across 4 provinces following the detention warrants issued by Adıyaman Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 26 people over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Also in Demre district of Antalya province, 5 people were detained by police on Tuesday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. It was reported that police looks for some other people for whom detention warrants were issued by local prosecutor’s office over their alleged use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock.

Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and even housewives, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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. 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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