Turkish police detain parents of 2-month-old baby over alleged Gülen links

Murat and Esra Yüksel, the parents of 2-month-old Selman Yüksel, have been detained by Turkish police in Kocaeli province over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to an e-mail sent to turkeypurge.com editors on Thursday, Mr. and Mrs. Yürksel have been on the run for months because of an outstanding detention warrant issued by the Giresun Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The couple are being sought for “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the unity of the state and nation.”

The e-mail also claimed that the baby’s birth has not yet officially been registered and so he has no ID card. The baby was photographed by relatives several hours after his parents were detained by police. He is now in the care of his grandparents, both of whom are allegedly confined to bed.

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. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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