Turkish gov’t detains 666 in one week over alleged links to Gülen Movement

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 666 people have been detained last week over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The ministry had announced on Nov. 13 that 586 people had been detained the previous week.

A total of 3,158 people were detained in October in a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also announced on Monday that Turkish authorities have started investigation about 565 social media accounts which were claimed to propagating on the behalf of the “terror organisations,” threatening the security of the society, insulting the state officials and allegedly contain hate speeches. The statement has underlined that legal proceedings have been launched for 89 social media users.

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 Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip 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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