Turkish gov’t seizes another company over links to Gülen movement

A court in Antalya province on Saturday appointed trustees to the management of the Durmazlar Group over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement bringing the number of companies seized to at least 1,068, the Birgün daily reported. According to the report the court has also arrested company executives Selahattin and Sebahattin Durmaz.

In similar developments in October, 73 companies including leading refrigeration firm Uğur were seized by the government over Gülen movement links.

A court in July appointed Uşak Governor Salim Demir as trustee for 29 companies that were transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) due to their owners’ alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

The companies are alleged to be connected to the Gülen movement.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 even though the movement denies any involvement.

The government’s crackdown on the movement, however, is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the management of many organizations affiliated with the movement have already been seized over the course of the past three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in July that the government had seized 966 companies from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement.

“In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş.

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 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 has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. 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. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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