Turkish gov’t detains 47 people in İzmir over alleged links to Gülen movement

File photo.

Forty-seven people were detained on Saturday in İzmir as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement launched by the İzmir Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Meanwhile, prime coup suspect Kemal Batmaz’s brother Şakir Batmaz was put in pre-trial detention over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. Dismissed from Kayseri’s Erciyes University a professor of contemporary history, Batmaz earlier spent some time behind bars on charges of membership to the movement before being released on probation. Kemal Batmaz is a businessman who is accused of being one of the civilians allegedly involved in the failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Also, polymer engineering professor Hüseyin Yıldırım and four people, who all used to work at the Yalova University were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement on Friday. The suspects are accused of having made donations to the movement. The government earlier removed them all from their jobs with a post-coup emergency decree.

Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government accuse the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

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 last July. 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.

The government has seized to at least 1,068 companies and 4,888 properties as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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