Turkish gov’t issues detention warrants for 48 dismissed police officers over alleged Gülen links

The Turkish government on Friday issued detention warrants for 48 former police inspectors and officers who had previously been dismissed from their jobs as part of its massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for the 48 people, including four former police inspectors and 44 former police officers who were dismissed by government decrees under an ongoing state of emergency over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

A written statement from the prosecutor’s office said detention warrants were issued for former police personnel in Ankara, Kayseri, Konya, Hatay, Amasya, Malatya and Çorum provinces. Police have so far detained 33 of those being sought.

Meanwhile, 12 people were detained in police raids in Adana and Nevşehir provinces on Friday over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government detained 423 people, including active duty military officers, deputy governors, district governors, police officers and civilians over their alleged links to the movement between June 25-29 in 20 operations across Turkey.

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.

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