7 detained as part of gov’t witch hunt against Gülen movement in Yalova

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Seven people were detained as part of government-initiated operation targeting the Gülen movement — a grassroots initiative comprising people inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen — in Yalova.

Detainees – including civil servants and businessmen – were sent to court after questioning.

Meanwhile, one of the six people, who were detained on June 9 as part of an operation carried out by Counterterrorism Unit of the Bursa Police Department, was arrested while the remainig five were released pending trial. Detentions were carried out on suspicion of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “recruiting member to a terrorist organization.”

The arrests and detentions were carried out on suspicion of being a member of the so-called the “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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