Turkish gov’t seizes 15 more companies in Amasya over Gülen links

The Turkish government has seized 15 more companies as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday.

The report said trustees were appointed to 15 companies in the Merzifon district of Amasya province. The measure was taken on accusations of providing financial support to the Gülen movement.

The government has seized about 1,100 companies with value of more than $12 billion in assets and then transferred them to the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The companies in question were mostly targeted as part of the government’s massive post-coup crackdown against the Gülen movement.

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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