Turkish gov’t issues detention warrants for 217 soldiers, detains 44 soldiers & more than 110 civillians over Gülen links

Arrested officer

Turkish government has issued detentions warrant for hundreds and detained dozens of people on Friday as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office in western İzmir province has issued detention warrants for over 117 military personnel on Friday as part of a witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement. Police started operations in 45 provinces across Turkey to detain 117 military personnel, including 19 dismissed and 98 active soldiers in the İzmir-based probe.

Turkish government has also detained 44 military officers, non-commissioned officers and sergeants in 32 provinces in a Tekirdağ-based probe on Friday following detention warrants were issued by Tekirdağ Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 100 soldiers over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. It was reported that 100 soldiers includes some military officers who are on their active duties.

Meanwhile, following the detention warrants issued by İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 97 people, police have detained 60 people in İstanbul’s Kağıthane, Şişli and Sarıyer districts on Friday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Also, it was reported that the prosecutor office has issued detention warrants on Friday for 36 people over their alleged use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock. Police teams have started operations in 6  inprovinces to detain these people.

In an Adana-based investigation as part of witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement, 38 people were detained in Adana, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Kayseri and Konya provinces over their allege use of ByLock on Friday. It was reported that police teams raided 41 different addresses to make detentions.

In Samsun province on Friday, 13 people were detained by Turkish police over their alleged use of ByLock while 10 people were detained in Kocaeli province following detention warrants for 11 people in the city.

Turkish authorities believe that ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement. Tens of thousands of people, including civil servants, police officers, soldiers, businessmen, and housemakers, have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Also on Friday, Celal Çelik, who is a lawyer of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was released by an İstanbul court on Friday with judicial probation and international travel ban. Lawyer Çelik had been detained on September 15 in Ankara.

S.Ç., a physician who was fired from her job by government decree last year, was arrested by a court in Bolu province on Thursday for using the ByLock smart phone application. According to the Bolu Gündem newspaper, S.Ç. was detained by police early on Thursday in a raid on her house. She was brought before a Bolu court the same day, arrested and put in pretrial detention in Bolu F Type Prison.

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 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.

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