Turkish gov’t issues detention warrants for 143 people affiliated with Gülen linked 36 CSOs abroad

Turkish government has detained dozens of people while detention warrants issued for hundreds on Wednesday as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants on Wednesday for 143 people who are allegedly the executives and the representatives of 36 civil society organisations (CSOs) abroad affiliated with the Gülen movement and those who gave financial support to these people. Following the warrants police have detained 15 people.

Following the detention warrants issued by Kırklareli Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday for 6 women who are wives of arrested former police officers over their alleged use of mobile phone messaging application ByLock. It was reported that the trials of the husbands of the female detainees has been continuing at Kırklareli’s 2nd High Criminal Court.

Also in Kütahya province, 6 people, including 3 women, were detained by police on Wednesday over their alleged use of ByLock following detention warrants issued for 9 people.

Turkish police, on Wednesday, have also detained 16 people in Bursa province on accusations that they use mobile phone application ByLock. It was reported that the Bursa Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 16 people, including civil servants, businessmen and teachers due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, Turkish police detained 14 people in Samsun province on Wednesday over their alleged use of ByLock. It was reported that there are bankers, teachers and doctors among the detainees.

In an Aksaray-based investigation 15 teachers were also detained by police in Aksaray, Erzincan and Balıkesir provinces following detention warrants issued by Aksaray Chief Prosecutor’s Office for 20 teachers over their alleged links to Gülen movement on Wednesday.

Also a former police chief was detained by police at a hotel in Bodrum district of Muğla province on Wednesday over his alleged links to the Gülen movement and he was arrested and sent to prison by a local court over his alleged use of ByLock.

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.

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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