Turkish gov’t detains retired public servant for aiding families of post-coup victims

An İzmir man, identified as M.S., was detained by police on Friday for helping the overseas followers of the Gülen movement to raise money to use as humanitiarian aid for the victims of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Bursa police carried out an investigation to round up M.S. who was suspected of distributing money to the victims of the government crackdown against the Gülen movement in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup.

M.S. was rounded up while he was withdrawing the money allegedly transferred from Canada-based Gülen followers to his account at a bank branch in İzmir’s Bergama district.

According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, the funds, raised to support post-coup prisoners and those under investigation as well as the people dismissed as part of the government crackdown and their families, was raised in Canada and was sent from a bank in the US.

Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of leading the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement. The government detained more than 125,000 people and arrested 55,000 of them over ties to the movement over the past year.

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. (turkeypurge.com)

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