Turkish gov’t detains 47 non-commissioned officers over alleged links to Gülen movement

Arrested officer

The number of non-commissioned military officers detained by Turkish government as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement has reached to 47 on Thursday in an Amasya-based probe.

Following the detention warrants issued by Merzifon Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday for 53 non-commissioned military officers, police have detained 27 more non-commissioned officers during raids in Balıkesir, İzmir, Eskişehir, Konya, Afyonkarahisar, Ankara, İstanbul, Kayseri, Erzurum, Kırıkkale and Ordu provinces on Thursday. Police had detained 20 non-commissioned officers in Merzifon Main Jet Base Command on Wednesday.

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 Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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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