Turkish police on Saturday detained 69 more people as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement. In the central Turkish province of Konya 50 people, including students, were rounded up as part of an ongoing crackdown on real and perceived supporters of the Gülen movement.
In a similar development, as a result of an investigation launched in the Western province of Bursa another 19 people were detained. The police have been searching for 13 others who are reportedly at large.
Detention warrants were issued on Wednesday and Thursday for 216 people across Turkey as part of a massive investigation into the movement.
The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 998 people have been detained in one week due to alleged links to the Gülen movement.
Turkey survived a 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 Turkey’s autocratic 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’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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of the state of emergency. (turkishminute.com)