Turkish gendarmes have detained two purged public officials and their families’ members close to the Greek border over alleged links to Gülen movement on Monday. The two former public officials and their families has been claimed to be fleeing to Greece.
Former public officials and their family members were detained in the Meric district of Turkey’s northwestern Edirne province. Security forces have also found €4,000 ($4,250) and TL 2,000 ($540) of cash with the detainees. The four people were detained while their children were sent to relatives.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.
Feb. 13, 2017