Turkish gov’t detains dozens on Monday over their alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has detained dozens of people on Monday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the movement in the aftermath of a controversial coup attemp on July 15, 2016.

In a Tunceli-based investigations police teams have organized operations in 19 provinces and detained 12 people over their alleged use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock on Monday. Also, in Erzincan province, 12 people were detained by police on Monday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. It was claimed that some of the detainees are alleged users of ByLock.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a member of the Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Meanwhile, on Monday, it was announced that police teams have detained 13 people including military officers on active duty over their alleged links to the movement on July 26, 2017 during operations in 8 provinces in a Bursa-based investigation as part of the government’s post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the the Gülen movement.. It was reported that there are 7 military officers, 2 non-commissioned officers, a sergeant, a nurse, a military officer who was dismissed from the military by a government decree previously, and a military student among the detainees.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that a total of 448 people were detained in the past week as part of an ongoing witch-hunt carried out by the Turkish government against followers of the faith-based Gülen movement. Turkish police had detained 593 the previous week for their alleged links to the movement.

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 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.

 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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.
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