Turkish gov’t detains 831 in one week in witch hunt targeting Gülen movement

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that a total of 831 people were detained in the past week as part of an ongoing post-coup witch hunt carried out by the Turkish government against the alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

The Ministry has also announced on Monday that 151 people have been detained over the past week on charges of disseminating propaganda on social media on behalf of the Gülen movement, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The ministry said investigations were launched into 2,697 social media users and that the identities of 1,199 were confirmed, leading to the detention of 151 people between July 17 and July 24. No information was provided as to whether the detainees were arrested.

The posts allegedly disseminated terrorist propaganda and praised terrorist organizations as well as provoking people to hatred, revenge and enmity and insulting state authorities.

Turkey survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 are the subject of legal proceedings. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 25, 2017

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