Turkish gov’t detains dozens of academics, military officers and more over alleged Gülen links

Turkish government has detained dozens of on-duty military officers and civilians including numbers of academics on Friday as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Some 22 people were detained on Friday at İstanbul’s Marmara University after a prosecutor issued detention warrants for a total of 42 university personnel over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Police have also been conducting searches of the rooms of 24 university staff.

In a Kocaeli-based investigation, police have detained 21 military officers on-duty and a civilian across 16 provinces on Friday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detentions came following the detention warrants issued by Koceeli Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 30 military officers.

Also in an Ağrı-based invesitgation, police have detained 26 military personnel who are on their active duties in 11 provinces over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detentions came following the detention warrants issued by Ağrı Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 32 on-duty military officers.

Police have also detained 10 military officers, 11 non-commissioned officers and 1 teacher in 14 provinces on Friday as part of a Tarbzon-based investigation targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, 10 people, including the dismissed judges, prosecutors and lawyers were detained in Tokat province on Friday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Adana police has also detained 6 people on Friday following the detention warrants issued by the provincial Chief Prosecutor’s Office for them over their called use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock.

Border security forces have detained 4 people and their 3 children as they were preparing to flee from Turkey to Greece on Edirne province. It was reported that detainees are former public servants  who were dismissed by the government decrees from their duties under the rule of emergency, their wives and children. It was also claimed that some of them used to use ByLock.

Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen and even housewives, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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 President 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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