Turkish government has continued to detain or arrest dozens of people as part of its post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, across Turkey on Friday.
EDİRNE — Turkish security forces have detained 6 people, who were allegedly attempting to cross into Greece from Turkey’s border in northwestern province of Edirne on Friday. State-run Anadolu news agency reported that Turkish border guards caught ten people including children in Edirne’s border district of Meriç reportedly after they heard the cry of one of the children.
Detained 6 people, were reportedly dismissed from their duties after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and later arrest warrants were issued for them. While it was reported that one of the suspects was doctor, another was military non-commissioned officer and others were teachers, the children were also taken to the border post.
İSTANBUL — Meanwhile, Turkish government has taken a new step for derailing the investigation and covering the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of Agos daily, on June 19, 2007 by directing accusations to 50 more people including police chiefs, prosecutors, military officers, Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and veteran journalists Ekrem Dumanlı, Adem Yavuz Arslan and Faruk Mercan.
İstanbul’s 14th Heavy Penal Court has admitted a new indictment in Dink probe 10 years after the heinous killing. The court has also issued arrest warrants for the suspects including the journalists.
GAZİANTEP — Also on Friday, 3 people were detained following the police raids targeting the three companies in Gaziantep province over alleged membership to the Gülen movement. It was reported that police has found a painting of tulip undersigned by Fethullah Gülen as major evidence.
KAYSERİ — Moreover, in a Kayseri-based investigation as part of massive post-coup witch hunt campaign, 8 academician, who were previously dismissed from Erciyes University by government decrees under the rule of emergency which was declared in wake of coup attempt on July 15, 2016, were detained by police forces in Kayseri, İstanbul and Adana provinces on Friday. It was reported that 3 more academicians have still been sought by police under the same investigation. As it was claimed that the 8 people were detained due to their alleged use of ByLock phone messaging application, all of them were transferred to Kayseri Police Department.
KAYSERİ — Also in Kayseri province, a court has tried 5 people over their alleged ties with the Gülen movement and given prison sentences between 6 years 3 months to 7 years 5 months on Friday. Those who were given prison sentences by Kayseri’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court are Yasin Kılıç, Mehmet Ünlütabak, Mehmet Sağıroğlu, Orhan Uslu, Seremkan Arıoğlu and Aygün Çağla Köse. However, taking into the period of their stay in the prison the court has released Ünlütabak, Sağıroğlu and Uslu.
ANTALYA — Turkish police has also detained 26 people who were the members of “Antalya Intercultural Dialog Center Association” in Antalya, İstanbul, Adana and Denizli provinces on Friday. The detainees, who were alleged members of the Gülen movement, were accused of “missionary activities to Christianize Turkish people.” Police has still been searching 9 more people who have allegedly committed the same “crime.”
ESKİŞEHİR — Furthermore, 6 students and graduates of the Eskisehir-based Anadolu University`s Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences were detained over their alleged links with the Gülen movement on Friday. Those who were detained during simultaneous operations in Eskişehir, İstanbul and Gümüşhane provinces, are either students or alumni of the faculty.
AKSARAY — Seven people including partners, executives and workers of a dialysis center in the central province of Aksaray were also detained over their alleged links with the Gülen movement on Friday. Police carried out operations in Aksaray, Mersin and Niğde provinces to the detain suspects. Twenty-nine $1 bills were confiscated as terror evidence during a raid on the center. Detainees are accused of having made donations to the movement.
According to the Turkish government, one dollar bills are an encrypted messaging system among the alleged members of the Gülen movement Hundreds of people carrying one dollar bills have been arrested so far, including columnist and Professor Mehmet Altan.
SAMSUN — On Friday, also in a Samsun-based police operations 14 people in Samsun and Ankara provinces were detained over their alleged links with the Gülen movement. It was reported that among the detainees there are a lawyer, 12 teachers and a public servants who were dismissed by government decrees under the rule of emergency declared in wake of coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
It was also alleged that some of the detainees allegedly used ByLock which is a controversial mobile phone application that Turkish authorities claim to be the top communication tool among the alleged members of the Gülen movement.
The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 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.
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.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. Law enforcement have also caught hundreds of people attempting to illegally leave Turkey to neighboring countries so far. Not satisfied with dismissals, Turkish government cancelled passports of thousands of people while putting travel ban on many others.
June 2, 2017