Turkish gov’t detains dozens of people, military officers over alleged links to Gülen movement

Arrested officer

Turkish government has continued massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement with dozens of detentions on Friday. Police teams have detained 30 people in 21 provinces in a Yalova-based investigation as part of the government’s witch hunt campaign over their alleged links to the movement.

Following the detention warrants issued by Yalova Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 30 people who were reportedly military offficers including 21 of them are on active duties, police teams detained 30 military officers. The detained 9 military officers were reportedly dismissed previously from the military by an arbitrary government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also in Malatya province, 9 people, who used to be teachers until they were dismissed by an arbitrary government decree under the rule of emergency, were detained by police on Friday.  Police teams organized raids to the houses of 9 teachers following the detention warrants issued by Malatya Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 10 teachers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Moreover, Turkish police teams have detained Rear Admiral Gökhan Polat on Friday in Erdek district of Turkey’s Balıkesir province over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

A local businessman was also detained by police in Konya Airport during his return back to his hometown from Romania on Friday. It was reported that there has been an outstanding detention warrant for Seydişehir businessman over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Following the warning from Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in a video on Monday about possible assassination plots to be organized by Turkish government to accuse of the members of the Gülen movement, pro-government media has reported on Friday that two people, allegedly linked to the Gülen movement, were detained by police teams in Balıkesir province as they were allegedly preparing for an assassination. The claims, which was tried to be confirmed by the photos of knives and some ammunition, were riduculed by the people.

Police teams have also detained 17 people in 6 provinces in a Akhisar-based investigation as part of government’s massive witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement on Thursday. Following the detention warrants issued by Akhisar Chief prosecutor’s Office for 26 people, police have raided 30 places and detained 17 people in Manisa, İzmir, İstanbul, Şanlıurfa, Bilecik and Ankara provinces.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 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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