Turkish gov’t issues detention warrants for 8 people over alleged exam fraud

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for eight alleged members of the Gülen movement for their alleged involvement in police exam fraud.

According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the suspects are accused of leaking the inspector’s exam to police officers allegedly affiliated with the Gülen movement ahead of the 2011 test.

Meanwhile, Turkish border security forces detained five people in Edirne province on Friday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement as they were reportedly trying to flee from Turkey to Greece. The detainees were identified as A.B, F.B., H.D., H.D. and E.D.

Also on Friday, Captain Recep Zerk, director of the İstanbul provincial gendarmerie command’s unit against smuggling and organised crimes, was arrestedt over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkish police claimed that Captain Zerk had been in touch with senior members of the Gülen movement. Zerk reportedly told the prosecutors that he gave the names of seven people to the police and wanted to benefit from the effective repentance law.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey have been the subject of legal proceedings in the last two years on charges of membership in the Gülen movement since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Turkish Justice Ministry official told a symposium on July 19, 2018.

“Legal proceedings have been carried out against 445,000 members of this organisation,” Turkey’s pro-government Islamist news agency İLKHA quoted Turkish Justice Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ömer Faruk Aydıner as saying.

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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