Turkish gov’t detains former police intelligence chief and judge wife over alleged Gülen links

Zeki Güven and his judge wife Sevda Güven.

Turkish police detained Zeki Güven, former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department, and his wife, Judge Sevda Güven, on Tuesday in a shopping mall in Eskişehir province as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, detention warrants issued by Ankara’s 2nd, 4th and 14th high criminal courts are outstanding for Zeki Güven over his alleged involvement in the revelation of a sex scandal concerning Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal in 2010. Judge Sevda Güven is also reportedly wanted over alleged membership in the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, İbrahim Halil Şivgan, the governor the Araklı district of of Trabzon province, was also detained on Tuesday over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. Anadolu reported that Şivgan was taken into custody by Trabzon police on charges of “membership in a terror group.”

Also on Tuesday, 18 people, including two active duty military officers, two police officers, six dismissed military cadets and eight civilians, were detained by police in İstanbul, Bursa, Konya, Van and Ankara provinces over their alleged links to the Gülen movement as part of an Aydın-based investigation.

Moreover, A 58-year-old Turkish man, identified as Mustafa A., died of a heart attack just two days after his son, a teacher who was jailed as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown, had his court hearing postponed, according to family members.

“My father-in-law couldn’t stand the persecution his son has been going through or the tears of his grandson, and passed away following a heart attack. My friends, I ask for your prayers,” said a tweet from an account named Serra Said on May 12.

Speaking to Turkey Purge via Twitter messages on May 20, Serra Said said her husband has been in pretrial detention for 349 days and added, “My father-in-law was a 58-year-old man who worked hard as a painter to earn a living for his family.”

“My 11-year-old son burst into tears after his father’s hearing was postponed on May 10. His grandfather felt so sad that he told his neighbours: ‘My grandson’s tears tore my heart out.’ Just two days later he suddenly fell to the ground at home and passed away,” Serra Said told Turkey Purge.

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 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 has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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