Turkish gov’t detains dozens of people over their alleged links to Gülen movement on Friday

Turkish government has issued detention warrants and detained dozens of people as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement on Friday.

Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 38 people who worked in private schools and preparatory schools which were seized by Turkish government, on accusations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock. Police have started operations to detain the teachers in 7 provinces.

In a similar development, detention warrants were issued for 20 police officers who were dismissed following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, as part of investigation launched by Kocaeli Chief Prosecutor’s Office into the Gülen movement. 18 police officers were detained on Friday.

Detention warrants were also issued for 110 former owners, executives and employees of Kaynak Holding, which was seized by the government in November 2015 due to its links to the faith-based Gülen movement on Friday. Police launched operations to detain 110 people in 24 provinces across Turkey as part of investigation into Gülen movement by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office. Detention warrants were issued for 103 former executives of Kaynak Holding on June 7.

In Kayseri province, 5 people were detained for sharing messages supportive to the Gülen movement on social media.

Seven military officers, who are on their active duties, were detained in Tekirdağ province over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Friday. Tekirdağ police has also detained Hüseyin Gelener, former police chief of Tekirdağ’s Muratlı district on Friday. It was reported that Gelener was dismissed by a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also, Turkish gendarmerie have detained 5 people who were trying to flee from Turkey to Greek in illegal ways on Friday. It was reported that the detainees are judges and teachers who were dismissed from their duties by a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Two children were also reportedly together with the detainees including 2 women.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Oct. 16 that 947 people have been detained in one week as part of a witch hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

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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