Turkish gov’t imprisons 6 female lawyers over alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish government has imprisoned 6 female lawyers in Erzurum province on Tuesday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

It was reported that a local court has arrested 6 female lawyers who were detained following the warrants issued by Erzurum Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 7 female lawyers over their alleged links to the movement. The court has released one lawyer with judicial probation.

According to data compiled by independent monitoring site The Arrested Lawyers’ Initiative, 555 lawyers have been arrested since July 15, 2016 and 1,433 lawyers were under prosecution as of Oct. 27, 2017. Sixty-two lawyers have received lengthy prison sentences thus far. Some of the arrested lawyers were reportedly subjected torture and ill treatment. Fourteen of the detained or arrested lawyers are  presidents or former presidents of provincial bar associations.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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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