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59 detained in new wave of gov’t witch hunt against Gülen movement across Turkey

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Fifty-nine people, including businessmen and company owners, were detained as part of government-led operations targeting Gülen movement — a grassroots initiative comprising people inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen – across Turkey on Monday.

Detentions were carried out as part of an Adana-based operation that is also conducted in eleven more provinces by police officers from the Anti Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau of Adana Police Department early on Monday.

Police officers carried out detentions after raiding 66 different addresses in Adana, Ankara, İstanbul, Mersin, Şanlıurfa, Kayseri, Kahramanmaraş, Çorum, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Batman and Şırnak.

Detainees were sent to Adana Police Department for questioning while police failed to detain seven people because they were abroad.

The detentions were carried out on suspicion of membership in and providing financial support to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY),” which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement.

Since a corruption investigation came to public attention on Dec. 17, 2013, there have been many similar police operations carried out targeting shopkeepers, teachers, members of the judiciary, journalists and police officers who are accused of being affiliated with the Gülen movement, which is also known as the Hizmet movement. The graft probe implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, members of his family and senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures.

Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of plotting to overthrow his government and said that sympathizers of the movement within the police department had fabricated the graft scandal. Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained and some arrested for alleged illegal activity in the course of the corruption investigation. Erdoğan said he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement. The Gülen movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.

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