Turkish police detains numbers of people over alleged links with Gülen movement

Turkish government has continued to detain dozens of people as part of its post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, across Turkey on Wednesday.

Police has detained 17 small-size business owners over their alleged links with the Gülen movement in western province Manisa as 15 people who are working for a private security company were detained in Eskisehir over their alleged use of ByLock, a controversial mobile application that Turkihs authorities claim to be the top communication tool among Gülen movement members on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 4 people were detained at an Ankara pastry shop while they were allegedly making plans to escape Turkey crackdown on Wednesday. Ankara police raided a bakery in Etimesgut district where two lawyers, a doctor and a university student were met before they hit the road for illegal exit from Turkey, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

Police reportedly seized TL 22,000 [$6,500], passport size photos and IDs that do not belong to the detainees during the raid. One of the lawyers had already had an outstanding arrest warrant issued for him over alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

The military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 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.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. Law enforcement have  also caught hundreds of people attempting to illegally leave Turkey to neighboring countries so far.  Not satisfied with dismissals, Turkish government cancelled passports of thousands of people while putting travel ban on many others. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) May 31, 2017

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